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Title: Willem Adriaan Van Der Stel - And Other Historical Sketches
Author: Theal, George McCall
Language: English
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                      WILLEM ADRIAAN VAN DER STEL

                          WILLEM ADRIAAN VAN
                               DER STEL


                       OTHER HISTORICAL SKETCHES


                  GEORGE McCALL THEAL, LITT.D., LL.D.


                              PRINTED BY
                          LONDON AND BECCLES





   EARLY HISTORY OF THE NETHERLANDS                                   35




V. THE TRUCE WITH SPAIN AND ENGLISH RIVALRY                          149


I. GOVERNOR WILLEM ADRIAAN VAN DER STEL                              171

    WILLEM ADRIAAN VAN DER STEL                                      187

III. FAITHLESS CONDUCT OF THE GOVERNOR                               207

    WILLEM ADRIAAN VAN DER STEL                                      234


   LOUIS TRIEGARD AND PIETER UYS                                     253

II. PIETER LAVRAS UYS                                                275


SKETCH I.                                                            295
SKETCH II.                                                           310
SKETCH III.                                                          314
SKETCH IV.                                                           321


_Exploration by the Portuguese of the Western Coast of Africa and
Discovery of the Cape of Good Hope, including a short Sketch of the
early History of Portugal._




The discovery of an ocean route from Europe to India, followed by the
establishment of the Portuguese as the preponderating power in the East,
is one of the greatest events in the history of the world. It is not too
much to say that every state of Central and Western Europe was affected
by it. The time was critical, for the Turks were then menacing
Christendom, and if they had secured a monopoly of the Indian trade
their wealth and strength would have been so augmented that it is
doubtful whether they might not have succeeded in entering Vienna in
1529. As yet the Moslem power was divided, for Egypt was still under the
independent Mameluke rulers, and the greater portion of the Indian
products that found their way to Europe was obtained by the Venetians at
Alexandria. To that city they were conveyed in boats down the Nile from
Cairo, after being carried by camels from the shore of the Red sea,
whither they were brought by ships from the coast of Malabar. From this
traffic Alexandria had thriven greatly, and from it too Venice,--whose
merchants distributed over Europe the silk and cotton fabrics, gems,
pepper, and spices of the East,--had become wealthy and powerful. That
portion of the Indian merchandise which was brought overland by caravans
from the Persian gulf to the Mediterranean coast was under the control
of the Turks, and a few years later, when in 1517 the sultan Selim
overthrew the Mamelukes and made Egypt a province of his dominions, the
whole would have been theirs if the Portuguese had not just in time
forestalled them.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

In the early years of the fifteenth century the Christian nations were
little acquainted with distant countries, America and Australia were
entirely unknown, Eastern Asia was very imperfectly laid down on the
maps, and the greater part of Africa had never been explored. This
continent might have terminated north of the equator, for anything that
the most learned men in Europe knew with certainty to the contrary. They
had only the map of Ptolemy and perhaps that of Edrisi as their guide,
and these were extremely vague as regards its southern part, and, as is
now known, were most incorrect.

The little kingdom of Portugal at the south-western extremity of Europe
was more favourably situated than any other Christian state for
prosecuting discovery along the western coast of Africa, though its
shipping was small in quantity compared with that of either Venice,
Genoa, the Hanseatic league, or the Netherland dominions of the dukes of
Burgundy. A glance at its history may not be uninteresting, and will
show how it came to embark in maritime exploration.[1]

In Portugal, as throughout Southern Europe, and as in South Africa,
great numbers of ancient stone implements are found of such rude
workmanship as to prove that the men who made and used them were savages
of a very low type, and there is further evidence that they were cave
dwellers. In South Africa the primitive race has continued to exist
until our own times, but in Portugal it disappeared ages ago, no one can
do more than conjecture how or when.

Later, but still in the far distant past, the whole of the Iberian
peninsula came to be inhabited by the race of men of whom the Basques
are the present representatives, but whether they succeeded immediately
to the palæolithic savages, or whether some other people came between
them, is as yet unknown. The Basques in Europe correspond to the early
Egyptians and the light coloured men of the North African coast, so that
in speaking of them we are speaking of a race that led the van of
civilisation at a very remote period in the history of the world.

[Sidenote: The Romans in Spain.]

Next to appear in the Iberian peninsula were the Celts, by whom the
earlier inhabitants of the south and centre were destroyed, though
probably some few were incorporated. Those living in the mountainous
region in the north, particularly in the western part of the Pyrenees
and along the adjoining coast of the bay of Biscay, however, managed to
hold their own, and their descendants are found in those localities at
the present day. The Phœnicians and Carthaginians followed long
afterwards, and occupied many stations in the southern section of the
peninsula, but never succeeded in establishing their authority in the
northern part of the country. The Greeks also are believed by some
historians to have formed trading stations at the mouths of the rivers
on the western coast as well as on the Mediterranean shore, and it has
even been supposed that Lisbon was founded by a Hellenic colony, though
that seems to be extremely doubtful.

In the Punic wars the Romans obtained assistance in Spain, by which name
the entire peninsula is meant, and in the year B.C. 206 the
Carthaginians were finally expelled from the country. But now the Romans
turned their arms against the Spaniards, and after a long struggle
succeeded in establishing their authority over the Celtic part of the
country, though insurrections were frequent, and it was only in the time
of Augustus that the Basque section was subdued and the whole peninsula
was reduced to perfect obedience.

During the next four centuries Spain became thoroughly Romanised, to
such an extent indeed that not only the arts, customs, laws, and
municipal institutions, but even the language of Rome came into general
use, and that language is the basis of the tongue of the Celtic portion
of the people at the present day. The Christian religion also, which had
become that of the ruling power, was firmly adopted. No conquerors ever
left their impression upon a whole people more thoroughly than the
Romans left theirs upon the inhabitants of the greater portion of the
Spanish peninsula.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

So matters went on until the early years of the fifth century of our
era, when the Western Empire was overrun by hordes of warlike intruders
pressing down from the north, and the Alani, the Vandals, and the Suevi
made their way over the Pyrenees, and took possession of Spain. They
were followed by the Visigoths, when the Vandals and most of the Alani
went on to Africa, the Suevi remaining in Galicia and part of Old
Castile, and the Gothic monarchy of Spain was established. These Goths
held the Romanised Celts in subjection, and lived among them as an
aristocracy, but soon adopted their language, when the two peoples
blended into one.

Three centuries passed away, and then another race of conquerors
appeared. The Arabs, under the influence of the religion of Mohamed, had
overrun Egypt and the whole northern coast of Africa to the Atlantic
ocean, converting everywhere the people to their faith. In the second
decade of the eighth century one of their armies passed from Africa by
way of Gibraltar into Spain, and speedily overran the whole peninsula
except the Basque territory in the north. For a long series of years
they were not harsh conquerors, and by their love of learning, their
splendid schools, and the beauty of their architecture unquestionably
did much to improve the subject people. The Christians were not
compelled to renounce their religion, and their persons and property
were protected by the law. For a time the country was subject to the
caliph of Damascus, and later to an independent caliph of Cordova, but
at length, in the first years of the eleventh century, the Mohamedan
government broke into fragments, and an era of misrule and fanaticism on
both sides commenced. The Gothic nobles from the first had chafed under
foreign supremacy, and within fifty years of the conquest the little
Christian state of the north had begun to expand. Now a struggle between
the Christians and the Mohamedans set in, a struggle which lasted for
centuries and which drenched the land with blood, which spread
desolation far and wide, but created a people inspired with boundless
energy and prepared to undertake the most formidable enterprises. The
Mohamedans were aided by fanatics from Africa, mostly of Berber blood,
and large numbers of crusaders, among whom were many Englishmen, came to
the assistance of the Christians.

[Sidenote: The Kingdom of Portugal.]

A number of little Christian states, sometimes united under one head, at
other times independent of each other, came into existence in the
northern part of the peninsula, and in A.D. 1095 a small section of the
present territory of Portugal, that had been recovered from the
Mohamedans by Alfonso, king of Leon and Castile, was formed into a
county for the benefit of a Burgundian noble named Henrique, who married
Theresa, a natural daughter of the king. The county was called Portugal,
from o Porto, the Port, at the mouth of the river Douro. With this event
the history of Portugal, as distinct from the other sections of the
Spanish peninsula, commences. The county certainly remained a fief of
Leon until the 25th of July 1139, on which day the memorable battle of
Ourique was fought. Affonso, who had succeeded his father Henrique as
count of Portugal, crossed the Tagus, marched far into the Moslem
domains, and defeated with great slaughter five emirs who had united
their forces against him. The old Portuguese historians assert that
after the victory Affonso was proclaimed king by his army, and that a
cortes which assembled at Lamego confirmed the title, but recent
criticism throws doubt upon these statements as being merely legendary.
The latest writers assert that it was in war with his suzerain that
Affonso acquired his independence, and that the cortes did not meet at
Lamego until 1211. At any rate, it is certain that the son of Henrique
styled himself king in 1140, and that in 1143 Pope Innocent the Second
confirmed the title.

After this the waves of war rolled backward and forward over the land,
but in 1147 Affonso got possession of the important city of Santarem,
which was never again lost. In the same year also, with the aid of a
strong body of English crusaders, he seized Lisbon, though it was not
made the national capital until the reign of João I. During the
remainder of his life and that of his son Sancho, who succeeded him, the
Tagus was the southern boundary of Portugal, and the province of
Alemtejo was a debatable land, sometimes overrun by one party, sometimes
by the other. In 1211 Sancho died, and was succeeded by his son Affonso
II, and he again in 1223 by his son Sancho II, during whose reigns a
steady though slow and frequently interrupted advance was made in the
conquest of Alemtejo. Sancho II was despoiled of his kingdom by his
brother Affonso III, and in 1248 died in exile. In 1250 the emirate of
the Algarves was overrun, and was held as a fief of Castile until 1263,
when it was ceded to Portugal in full sovereignty. The country then for
the first time after a struggle of one hundred and sixty-eight years
from the formation of the northern county, acquired its present
dimensions, which it has retained inviolate ever since. The title King
of Portugal and of the Algarves, assumed by Affonso III, was
subsequently borne by all the monarchs of the country.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

In 1279 Affonso III was succeeded by his son Diniz, who died in 1325,
and was followed on the throne by his son Affonso IV. He was succeeded
in 1357 by his son Pedro, who was followed in 1367 by his son Fernando,
the last monarch of the Burgundian dynasty, who died on the 22nd of
October 1383. Under the government of these kings the Portuguese had
become a fairly wealthy and prosperous commercial people, without losing
any of the martial spirit or fierce energy that they had acquired during
their long wars with the Mohamedans. Fernando died without male heirs,
and his daughter, being married to the king of Castile, was by a
fundamental law excluded from the crown. His widow, the infamous Dona
Leonor, asserted a claim to act as regent for her daughter, but owing to
her profligate habits and her remorseless cruelty she was detested by
the people, who were extremely averse to union or even association with
Castile, and she was expelled.

The leader of the popular party was Dom João, Grand Master of the Order
of Saint Benedict of Avis, a man of remarkable ability, who was an
illegitimate son of King Pedro by Theresa Lourenço. The Castilian
monarch invaded Portugal with a great army and laid siege to Lisbon, but
pestilence broke out in his camp, and he was driven back with heavy
loss. On the 6th of April 1385 the cortes, which had assembled at
Coimbra, the ancient capital, elected the Grand Master of the Order of
Avis king of Portugal. Still the sovereign of Castile might have
succeeded in conquering the country if John of Gaunt, son of Edward III
of England, had not come to its aid with five thousand men. The marriage
of King João with Philippa, eldest daughter of John of Gaunt, cemented
his alliance with England, with which country he had concluded a treaty
of close friendship. Thus the illustrious dynasty of Avis, under whose
leadership the little kingdom held such a proud position in Europe, came
to occupy the throne of Portugal.

[Sidenote: The Dynasty of Avis.]

During the long reign of João I the kingdom continued to prosper. The
policy pursued was to maintain a firm alliance with England, to carry on
commerce with that country, and to avoid connection of any kind with the
other states of the peninsula. Learning was encouraged by the king, and
Portuguese literature may be said to date from this period. If the
martial ardour of the people was relaxing by long peace, it was revived
in 1415 by the prosecution of war with the Moors on the North African
coast, when the strong position of Ceuta, opposite Gibraltar, was taken.
João I died in 1433, and was succeeded by his eldest legitimate son,
Duarte by name. Affonso, an illegitimate son by Ines Pires, who was
created count of Barcellos by his father, and duke of Bragança by his
nephew Affonso V, was the ancestor of the sovereigns of Portugal from
1640 to 1910.

Duarte was an excellent king, but his short reign was marked by a great
disaster. In 1437 an attack upon Tangier failed, and the fourth
legitimate son of João I, Dom Fernando, became a prisoner. As he could
only obtain his liberty by the restoration of Ceuta to the Moors, he
remained a captive, and died at Fez in 1443.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

King Duarte died in 1438, when his son and heir, Affonso V, was only six
years of age. Dom Pedro, duke of Coimbra, second son of João I and
Philippa of Lancaster, then became regent, but ten years later the young
king took the government into his own hands. He was a scholar and a
patron of literature, but was somewhat reckless and unstable in
character. He carried on war with the Moors of Northern Africa, and took
several towns from them, after which he turned his arms against Castile,
in hope of obtaining possession of that kingdom, but was utterly
defeated in 1476 in the battle of Toro, and in 1481 died, leaving the
throne of Portugal to his son João II.

The new king was twenty-six years of age when he succeeded his father.
Though inclined to be a despot, he was one of the wisest and ablest
princes that ever sat on the throne of Portugal. His great object was to
reduce the power of the nobles, who under the feudal system of
government were really masters of the country, and he therefore
instituted an inquiry into the nature of their tenures, which provoked
their resentment. First among them was the third duke of Bragança, who
was lord of many towns, and owned more than one-fourth of the whole
territory of the kingdom. He was arrested, and after a trial for
treasonable correspondence with a foreign state, was executed. This was
followed by the death of the duke of Viseu, who was stabbed by the
king’s own hand, of the bishop of Evora, who was thrown down a well, and
by the execution of about eighty of the most powerful noblemen in the
country. Their estates were confiscated, though in some instances
partially restored to their heirs, the vast authority they had possessed
was broken for ever, and João II became an absolute monarch, though a
benevolent and excellent one. He was a patron of learned men, a promoter
of commerce, a just administrator, and in every way open to him he
endeavoured to improve the condition of the people. He died at Alvor in
the Algarves on the 25th of October 1495, to the grief of his subjects,
who termed him the perfect king.

[Sidenote: Defective Knowledge of Europeans.]

It was during the reigns of the sovereigns of the dynasty of Avis that
the Portuguese led the way in those geographical discoveries which have
conferred such lustre upon the little kingdom. When João I ascended the
throne Europeans knew far less of the western coast of Africa than was
known by the Carthaginians five centuries before the Christian era, and
of the southern and eastern coasts they were absolutely ignorant. The
Arabs, Persians, and Indians were far more enlightened in this respect
than were the people of Europe. Whether there were other writings in
ancient times upon the shores of the Indian ocean than the _Voyage of
Nearchus_ and the _Periplus of the Erythrean Sea_ is very doubtful, for
if there were they would most likely have been in the great library of
Alexandria,[2] to which Ptolemy had access, and of South-Eastern Africa
he knew nothing at all. There is the most conclusive evidence that in
very ancient times some nations frequented the eastern shore of the
continent at least as far down as Cape Correntes,[3] but no accounts of
their discoveries were extant in the fifteenth century, nor are there
any to-day. The writings of even the Arabs and Persians after the time
of Mohamed appear to have been unknown in Western Europe when the
Portuguese commenced their explorations, so that to them, if the
imperfect information contained in the geography of Ptolemy be excepted,
all that was beyond Cape Nun from the Atlantic to the Indian ocean was a
vast blank which it might be hazardous in the extreme to attempt to

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The ships of the fifteenth century were ill-fitted also for long
voyages. Though capable of withstanding heavy seas, they were clumsily
rigged, and were without the mechanical appliances of the present day.
In proportion to their tonnage they needed so many men to work them that
a great deal of space was taken up with food and fresh water, and of
comfort on board there was none. They could make the passage from Lisbon
to London with fruit and wine without difficulty, but it was a very
different thing to sail along an unknown coast, with no harbour in front
where fresh provisions and water could be obtained. The compass, which
is believed to have been in use in an imperfect form in China as far
back as two thousand six hundred years before Christ, had recently
become known in Western Europe, and about the beginning of the
fourteenth century had been so greatly improved by Flavio Gioja, of
Amalphi, that navigation had benefited greatly by it. But the compass,
though enabling ships to steer safely between frequented ports, was not
of much assistance in the exploration of seas never visited before,
though it might be on the return passage. The instrument for determining
latitudes at sea was exceedingly crude and imperfect, and for
ascertaining longitudes no means whatever were known, so that it was
only by computing the direction and the distance run that a navigator
could form an opinion as to where he was. Add to this the current belief
of seamen that the sun’s heat in the south was so great that it caused
the water to boil and thick vapour to obscure the sky, which was always
as dark as night. There was a legend that the crew of a ship that had
made the venture had actually seen the region of eternal gloom, and had
got away from it only by a miracle. In the minds of common mariners the
ocean beyond Cape Nun was as wild and dreadful as that beyond Cape
Correntes was to the Arabs of the eastern coast. Thus it was a task not
only of discomfort, but of peril and dread, to proceed beyond the known
part of the coast.

[Sidenote: Prince Henry the Navigator.]

The discoveries of the Portuguese were largely the result of the genius
and ability of a prince of their royal house, Henrique by name, known in
European history as Henry the Navigator. He was the third son of João I
and Philippa of Lancaster, and was therefore a nephew of Henry IV of
England. Two objects engrossed the attention of the Infante Dom
Henrique: the conversion of the heathen to Christianity, and the
discovery of unknown lands, the last of which he believed would greatly
facilitate the former. As a gallant knight he took part in the
expedition against Ceuta in 1415, and there he learned that trade was
carried on with the country south of the Sahara by means of caravans of
camels, and that the coast of the Atlantic in that direction was often
visited. Then he thought that the same coast could more easily be
reached by sea, and he resolved to attempt to do it. In 1418 he took up
his residence at Sagres, close to Cape Saint Vincent, in the Algarves,
the south-western point of Portugal and the very best position in Europe
as a basis for exploration. He was then twenty-four years of age. At
Sagres he built an observatory, established a school of navigation, and
invited the most expert astronomers, mathematicians, and sea-captains
that he could hear of to visit him, that he might consult with them as
to the best means of prosecuting discovery. He was possessed of much
wealth, as he had been created duke of Viseu, to which title large
estates were attached, and he was also Master of the Order of Christ and
governor of the Algarves. His own revenues he spent entirely in the
promotion of his designs, and he was most liberally aided with means by
his father and his brothers.[4]

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The first exploring expedition sent out is said to have been under the
command of Bartholomeu Perestrello, who discovered the island of Porto
Santo in 1418 or 1419, but the early accounts of this voyage do not
agree with each other, and nothing connected with it is certain.

In 1419 Perestrello was sent again, and with him were two other ships
commanded by João Gonçalves Zarco and Tristão Vas, who had instructions
from Dom Henrique to establish a station on Porto Santo and plant a
garden for the use of future navigators. Perestrello returned to
Portugal from the island, but the other captains planted a plot of
ground, and in 1420 went on to Madeira, which received its name from
them on account of the trees with which it was covered. They then
returned to Porto Santo, and thence to Portugal. Unfortunately they had
put ashore a rabbit with young, and its progeny increased so rapidly
that the continued cultivation of the ground became impossible, so that
Porto Santo was not permanently colonised until several years later. The
accounts of this voyage are also vague and unreliable. In 1425 a
commencement was made in colonising Madeira, and among other useful
plants the vine and the sugar cane were introduced.[5]

[Sidenote: Progress of Discovery.]

In 1432 Gonçalo Velho Cabral, Commander of the Order of Christ,
discovered and named the island Santa Maria in the Azores.

It was most probably in 1434 that an expedition under Gil Eannes doubled
Cape Bojador, though some of the ancient writers assign the date 1428
for this achievement, others 1432, and others again 1433. This was a
great step in advance, for on finding the sea south of the dreaded
headland to be as easily navigated as that on the north, the old terror
of the common people was dispelled, and it was no longer difficult to
obtain men to work the ships. It is not easy therefore to account for
the various dates assigned for this achievement, but exact chronology
does not seem to have been regarded as of much importance when the
chronicles were prepared from oral testimony years after the events took
place. In 1435 the same captain Gil Eannes reached the mouth of the
river do Ouro, to which he gave this name.

In 1441 Nuno Tristão reached Cape Blanco. In 1443 he visited the bay of
Arguim, and returned to Portugal with a number of negro slaves, who were
gladly received as labourers. In 1444 or 1445 Cape Verde was discovered
and named by Diniz Dias.

From this time onward many small vessels left Portugal every year to
trade on the African coast for gold dust, ivory, and particularly for
slaves. All the features of the shore became thoroughly well known, and
were marked on charts as far south as the Rio Grande, but for fifteen
years, until after the death of Dom Henrique--13th of November
1460--discovery practically ceased. The lucrative slave trade occupied
the minds of the sea captains, and ships freighted with negroes taken
captive in raids, or purchased from conquering chiefs, frequently
entered the harbours of Portugal. The commerce in human flesh was
regarded as highly meritorious, because it brought heathens to a
knowledge of Christianity. But never has a mistake or a crime led to
more disastrous results, for to the introduction of negroes as labourers
on the great estates belonging to the nobles and religious orders in
Alemtejo and the Algarves the decline of the kingdom in power and
importance is mainly due. The effects were not visible for many years,
but no one can come in contact with the lower classes in Southern
Portugal to-day without being impressed with the fact that both the
Europeans and the Africans have been ruined by mixture of their blood.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The exploring expeditions which Dom Henrique never ceased to encourage,
but which the greed of those who were in his service had turned into
slave-hunting voyages, were resumed after his death. In 1461, Pedro de
Cinta, who was sent out by Affonso V, reached the coast of the present
republic of Liberia, and in 1471 Fernando Po crossed the equator.

King João II was as resolute as his grand-uncle the Navigator in
endeavouring to discover an ocean road to India. He had not indeed any
idea of the great consequences that would follow, his object being
simply to divert the eastern trade from Venice to Lisbon, which would be
effected if an unbroken sea route could be found. In 1484 he sent out a
ship under Diogo Cam, which reached the mouth of the Congo, and in the
following year the same officer made a greater advance than any previous
explorer could boast of, for he pushed on southward as far as Cape
Cross, latitude 22°, on the coast of what is now German South-West
Africa, where the marble pillar which he set up to mark the extent of
his voyage remained standing more than four hundred years.

[Sidenote: Expedition under Bartholomeu Dias.]

The next expedition sent in the same direction solved the secret
concerning the meridional extent of the African continent. It was under
the chief command of an officer named Bartholomeu Dias, of whose
previous career unfortunately nothing can now be ascertained except that
he was a gentleman of the king’s household and receiver of customs at
Lisbon when the appointment was conferred upon him, and that he had at
some former time taken part in exploring the coast. The historian João
de Barros states that at the end of August 1486[6] he sailed from the
Tagus with two vessels of about fifty tons each, according to the
Portuguese measurement of the time, though they would probably be rated
much higher now. He had also a small storeship with him, for previous
expeditions had often been obliged to turn back from want of food.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The officers who were to serve under him were carefully selected, and
were skilful in their professions. They were: Leitão (probably a
nickname) sailing master, and Pedro d’Alanquer pilot of the flag ship;
João Infante captain, João Grego sailing master, and Alvaro Martins
pilot of the São Pantaleão; and Pedro Dias, brother of the commodore,
captain, João Alves sailing master, and João de Santiago pilot of the
storeship. On board the squadron were four negresses--convicts--from the
coast of Guinea, who were to be set ashore at different places to make
discoveries and report to the next white men they should see. This was a
common practice at the time, the persons selected being criminals under
sentence of death, who were glad to escape immediate execution by
risking anything that might befall them in an unknown and barbarous
country. In this instance women were chosen, as it was considered likely
they would be protected by the natives. It was hoped that through their
means a powerful Christian prince called Prester John,[7] who was
believed to reside in the interior, might come to learn of the greatness
of the Portuguese monarchy and that efforts were being made to reach
him, so that he might send messengers to the coast to communicate with
the explorers. King João and his courtiers believed that if this
mythical Prester John could be found, he would point out the way to

Dias, like all preceding explorers, kept close to the coast on his way
southward. Somewhere near the equator he left the storeship with nine
men to look after her, and then continued his course until he reached an
inlet or small harbour with a group of islets at its entrance, the one
now called Angra Pequena or Little Bay by the English, Luderitzbucht by
the Germans, in whose possession it is at present, but which he named
Angra dos Ilheos, the bay of the Islets. The latitude was believed to be
24° south, but in reality it was 26½°, so imperfect were the means then
known for determining it. There he cast anchor, and for the first time
Christian men trod the soil of Africa south of the tropic.

[Sidenote: Visit to Angra Pequena.]

A more desolate place than that on which the weary seamen landed could
hardly be, and no mention is made by the early Portuguese historians of
any sign of human life being observed as far as the explorers wandered.
Unfortunately the original journal or log-book of the expedition has
long since disappeared, so that much that would be intensely interesting
now can never be known. But this is certain, that refreshment there
could have been none, except fish, the flesh of sea-fowl that made their
nests on the islets, and possibly eggs if the breeding season was not
far advanced, though even that would be welcomed by men long accustomed
only to salted food. There was no fresh water, so it was no place in
which to tarry long. Before he left, Dias set up a marble cross some two
metres or so in height, on an eminence that he named Serra Parda, the
Grey Mountain, as a token that he had taken possession of the country
for his king. For more than three hundred years that cross stood there
above the dreary waste just as the brave Portuguese explorer erected
it.[8] The place where it stood so long is called Pedestal Point. Here
one of the negresses was left, almost certainly to perish, when the
expedition moved onward.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

From Angra Pequena Dias tried to keep the land in sight, but as it was
the season of the south-east winds, which were contrary, he could not
make rapid progress. At length by repeatedly tacking he reached an inlet
or bend in the coast to which he gave the name Angra das Voltas, the Bay
of the Turnings. There is a curve in the land in the position indicated,
29° south, but the latitudes given are not to be depended upon, and the
expedition may have been far from it and farther still from the point at
the mouth of the Orange river called by modern geographers Cape Voltas,
in remembrance of that event. At Angra das Voltas, wherever it was, Dias
remained five days, as the weather was unfavourable for sailing, and
before he left another of the negresses was set ashore.

[Sidenote: Visit to Mossel Bay.]

After making sail again heavy weather was encountered and a boisterous
sea, such as ships often experience in that part of the ocean, and which
is caused by the cold Antarctic current being slightly deflected by some
means from its usual course and striking the hot Mozambique current at a
right angle off the Cape of Good Hope. Very miserable Dias and his
companions must have been in their tiny vessels among the tremendous
billows, with the sails close reefed, and hardly a hope of escape from
being lost. But after thirteen days the weather moderated, and then they
steered eastward, expecting soon to see the coast again. For several
days they sailed in this direction, but as no land appeared Dias
concluded that he must either have passed the extremity of the continent
or be in some deep gulf like that of Guinea. The first surmise was
correct, for on turning to the north he reached the shore at an inlet
which he named Angra dos Vaqueiros, the Bay of the Herdsmen, on account
of the numerous droves of cattle which he saw grazing on its shores. It
was probably the same inlet that was named by the next expedition the
Watering Place of São Bras, and which since 1601 has been known as
Mossel Bay. The inhabitants gazed with astonishment upon the strange
apparition coming over the sea, and then fled inland with their cattle,
so that it was not found possible to have any intercourse with the wild
people. Thus no information concerning the inhabitants of the South
African coast, except that they had domestic cattle in their possession,
was obtained by this expedition.

How long Dias remained at Angra dos Vaqueiros is not known, but his
vessels, good sea-boats as they had proved to be, must have needed some
refitting, so he was probably there several days at least. He and his
officers were in high spirits, as unless they were in another deep bay
like the gulf of Guinea, they had solved the question of the extent
southward of the African continent. As far as their eyes could reach,
the shore stretched east and west, so, sailing again, they continued
along it until they came to an uninhabited islet in latitude 33¾° south.
This islet is in Algoa Bay as now termed--the Bahia da Lagoa of the
Portuguese after the middle of the sixteenth century,--and still bears
in the French form of St. Croix the name Ilheo da Santa Cruz, the islet
of the Holy Cross, which he gave it on account of the pillar bearing a
cross and the arms of Portugal which he erected upon it.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Dias visited the mainland, where he observed two women gathering
shellfish, who were left unmolested, as the king had issued instructions
that no cause of offence should be given to the inhabitants of any
countries discovered. Here the last of the negresses was set ashore as
one had died on the passage. The coast was examined some distance to the
eastward, and to a prominent rock upon it the name Penedo das Fontes,
the Rock of the Fountains, was given by some of the people, because two
springs of water were found there.

Here the seamen protested against going farther. They complained that
their supply of food was running short, and the storeship was far
behind, so that there was danger of perishing from hunger. They thought
they had surely done sufficient in one voyage, for they were two
thousand six hundred kilometres beyond the terminus of the preceding
expedition, and no one had ever taken such tidings to Portugal as they
would carry back. Further, from the trending of the coast it was evident
there must be some great headland behind them, and therefore they were
of opinion it would be better to turn about and look for it. One can
hardly blame them for their protest, considering the fatigue and peril
they had gone through and the wretchedly uncomfortable life they must
have been leading.

[Sidenote: Extent of the Voyage.]

Dias, after hearing these statements, took the officers and some of the
principal seamen on shore, where he administered an oath to them, after
which he asked their opinion as to what was the best course to pursue
for the service of the king. They replied with one voice, to return
home, whereupon he caused them to sign a document to that effect. He
then begged of them to continue only two or three days’ sail farther,
and promised that if they should find nothing within that time to
encourage them to proceed on an easterly course, he would put about. The
crews consented, but in the time agreed upon they advanced only to the
mouth of a river to which the commander gave the name Infante, owing to
João Infante, captain of the _São Pantaleão_, being the first to leap
ashore. The river was probably the Fish, but may have been either the
Kowie or the Keiskama as known to us. Its mouth was stated to be
twenty-five leagues from the islet of the Cross, and to be in latitude
32⅔° S., which was very incorrect.

But now, notwithstanding this error, there should have been no doubt in
any mind that they had reached the end of the southern seaboard, which
in a distance of over nine hundred kilometres does not vary a hundred
and seventy kilometres in latitude. The coast before them trended away
to the north-east in a bold, clear line, free of the haze that almost
always hung over the western shore. And down it, only a short distance
from the land, flowed a swift ocean current many degrees warmer than the
water on either side, and revealing itself even to a careless eye by its
deeper blue. That current could only come from a heated sea in the
north, and so they might have known that the eastern side of Africa had
surely been reached.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Whether the explorers observed these signs the Portuguese writers who
recorded their deeds, though in a manner so incomplete as to cause
nothing but regret to-day, do not inform us,[9] but from the river
Infante the expedition turned back. At Santa Cruz Dias landed again, and
bade farewell to the cross which he had set up there with as much sorrow
as if he was parting with a son banished for life. In returning, the
great headland was discovered, to which the commander gave the name Cabo
Tormentoso--the Stormy Cape--afterwards changed by the king to Cabo de
Boa Esperança--Cape of Good Hope--owing to the fair prospect which he
could now entertain of India being at last reached by this route. What
particular part of the peninsula Dias landed upon is unknown, but
somewhere on it he set up another of the marble pillars he had brought
from Portugal, to which he gave the name São Philippe. The country about
it he did not explore, as his provisions were so scanty that he was
anxious to get away. Keeping along the coast, after nine months’ absence
the storeship was rejoined, when only three men were found on board of
her, and of these, one, Fernão Colaça by name, died of joy upon seeing
his countrymen again. The other six had been murdered by negroes with
whom they were trading. Having replenished his scanty stock of
provisions, Dias set fire to the storeship, as she was in need of
refitting, and he had not men to work her; and then sailed to Prince’s
Island in the bight of Biafra, where he found some Portuguese in
distress. A gentleman of the king’s household, named Duarte Pacheco, had
been sent to explore the rivers on that part of the coast, but had lost
his vessel, and was then lying ill at the island with part of the crew
who had escaped from the wreck. Dias took them all on board, being very
glad not only to relieve his countrymen but to obtain more men to work
his ships, so many of those who sailed with him from Portugal having
died, and, pursuing his course in a north-westerly direction, touched at
a river where trade was carried on, and also at the fort of São Jorge da
Mina, an established Portuguese factory,[10] of which João Fogaça was
then commander. Here he took charge of the gold that had been collected,
after which he proceeded on his way to Lisbon, where he arrived in
December 1487, sixteen months and seventeen days from the time of his
setting out.

[Sidenote: Return of Dias to Portugal.]

No other dates than those mentioned are given by the early Portuguese
historians, thus the exact time of the discovery of the Cape of Good
Hope and the coast onward to the mouth of the Infante river is doubtful,
and it can only be stated as having occurred in the early months of
1487. The voyage surely was a memorable one, and nothing but regret can
be expressed that more of its details cannot be recovered. Of the three
pillars set up by Dias, two--those of the Holy Cross and São
Philippe--disappeared, no one has ever been able to ascertain when or
how; that of São Thiago at Angra Pequena remained where it was placed
until it was broken down by some unknown vandals about the commencement
of the nineteenth century.

Meantime the king sent two men named Affonso de Paiva, of Castelbranco,
and João Pires,[11] of Covilhão, in another direction to search for
Prester John. For this purpose they left Santarem on the 7th of May
1487, and being well provided with money, they proceeded first to
Naples, then to the island of Rhodes, and thence to Alexandria. They
were both conversant with the Arabic language, and had no difficulty in
passing for Moors. At Alexandria they were detained some time by
illness, but upon recovering they proceeded to Cairo, and thence in the
disguise of merchants to Tor, Suakin, and Aden. Here they separated,
Affonso de Paiva having resolved to visit Abyssinia to ascertain if the
monarch of that country was not the potentate they were in search of,
and João Pires taking passage in a vessel bound to Cananor on the
Malabar coast. They arranged, however, to meet again in Cairo at a time
fixed upon.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

João Pires reached Cananor in safety, and went down the coast as far as
Calicut, after which he proceeded upwards to Goa. Here he embarked in a
vessel bound to Sofala, and having visited that port, he returned to
Aden, and at the time appointed was back in Cairo, where he learned that
Affonso de Paiva had died not long before. At Cairo he found two
Portuguese Jews, Rabbi Habrão, of Beja, and Josepe, a shoemaker of
Lamego. Josepe had been in Bagdad, on the Euphrates, some years
previously, and had there heard of Ormuz, at the mouth of the Persian
gulf, and of its being the warehouse of the Indian trade and the point
of departure for caravans to Aleppo and Damascus. He had returned to
Portugal and informed the king of what he had learned, who thereupon
sent him and Habrão with letters of instruction to Affonso de Paiva and
João Pires, directing them if they had not already found Prester John,
to proceed to Ormuz and gather all the information they could there.

[Sidenote: Travels of João Pires.]

Upon receiving this order João Pires drew up an account of what he had
seen and learned in India and on the African coast, which he gave to
Josepe to convey to the king, and taking Habrão with him, he proceeded
to Aden and thence to Ormuz. From Ormuz Habrão set out with a caravan
for Aleppo on his way back to Portugal with a duplicate of the narrative
sent to the king by Josepe. None of the early Portuguese historians who
had access to the records of the country ever saw this narrative, so
that probably neither of the Jews lived to deliver his charge. Not a
single date is given in the early accounts of this journey, except that
of the departure from Santarem, which De Goes fixes as May 1486[12] and
Castanheda and De Barros as the 7th of May 1487. There is no trace of
any knowledge in Portugal of the commerce of Sofala before the return of
Vasco da Gama in 1499, but as such a journey as that described must in
the fifteenth century have occupied several years, it is just possible
that Josepe or Habrão reached Lisbon after that date.

João Pires went from Ormuz by way of Aden to Abyssinia, where he was
well received by the ruler of that country. Here, after all his
wanderings he found a home, for as he was not permitted to leave again,
he married and had children, living upon property given to him by the
government. In 1515 Dom Rodrigo de Lima arrived in Abyssinia as
ambassador of the king of Portugal, and found him still alive. With the
embassy was a priest, Francisco Alvares by name, who wrote an account of
the mission and of the statement made to him by João Pires, and also
gave such information on his return home as enabled the Portuguese
historians to place on record the above details. As far as actual result
in increase of geographical knowledge is concerned, this expedition of
Affonso de Paiva and João Pires therefore effected nothing.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

     In the laudable spirit of modern times, prompted by a desire to
     rectify error, men do not hesitate to question the accuracy of even
     the most renowned writers of old. But the great authority of De
     Barros requires that very substantial proof should be supplied
     before any date given by him is overturned, especially when that
     date is given three different times, and is indirectly corroborated
     by other contemporary historians. In an article entitled _The
     Voyages of Diogo Cão and Bartholomeu Dias 1482-88_, by E. G.
     Ravenstein, in the _Geographical Journal_, Vol. XVI, July to
     December 1900, page 625, an attempt is made to substitute other
     dates for the voyages of Diogo Cam and Bartholomeu Dias than those
     given by João de Barros, but the arguments supplied do not seem to
     me to be of much weight.

     This is what Mr. Ravenstein says:

     “We do not know whether Cão was given the command of one or of more
     vessels, nor have the names of any of his officers been placed on

     “Cão was the first to carry padrões, or pillars of stone, on an
     exploring voyage. Up to his time the Portuguese had been content to
     erect perishable wooden crosses, or to carve inscriptions into
     trees to mark the progress of their discoveries. King John
     conceived the happy idea of introducing stone pillars surmounted by
     a cross, and bearing, in addition to the royal arms, an inscription
     recording in Portuguese, and sometimes also in Latin, the date, the
     name of the king by whose order the voyage was made and the name of
     the commander. The four padrões set up by Cão on his two voyages
     have been discovered in situ, and the inscriptions upon two of them
     (one for each voyage) are still legible, notwithstanding the lapse
     of four centuries and have been deciphered.

     “During the first voyage two padrões were set up--one at the Congo
     mouth, the other on the Cabo do Lobo in latitude 13° 26 S., now
     known as Cape St. Mary. The latter has been recovered intact. It
     consists of a shaft 1.69 m. high and 0.73 m. in circumference,
     surmounted by a cube of 0.47 m. in height and .33 in breadth. Shaft
     and cube are cut out of a single block of liaz, a kind of limestone
     or coarse marble common in the environs of Lisbon. The cross has
     disappeared, with the exception of a stump, from which it is seen
     that it also was of stone, and fixed by means of lead.

     “The arms of Portugal carved upon the face of the cube are those in
     use up to 1486; in which year João II, being then at Beja, caused
     the green cross of the Order of Avis, which had been improperly
     introduced by his grandfather, who had been master of that order,
     to be withdrawn and the position of the quinas, or five
     escutcheons, to be changed.

     [Sidenote: Criticisms of the Account by Barros.]

     “The inscription covers the three other sides of the cube. It is in
     Gothic letters and in Portuguese, and reads as follows: ‘In the
     year 6681 of the World, and in that of 1482 since the birth of our
     Lord Jesus Christ, the most serene, most excellent and potent
     prince, King D. João II. of Portugal did order (_mandou_) this land
     to be discovered and these padrões to be set up by Dº Cão, an
     esquire (_escudeiro_) of his household.’ There is no inscription in

     “As the year 6681 of Eusebius begins on September 1, 1481, we
     gather from this inscription that the order for the expedition was
     given between January and August, 1482. Of course the departure may
     have been delayed, but the delay cannot have been a long one, as
     Cão was home again before April, 1484.

     “Cão came back to Lisbon probably in the beginning of 1484, and
     certainly before April of that year. The king, first of all, made
     him a ‘cavalleiro’ of his household. He then, on April 8, 1484, ‘in
     consideration of the services rendered in the course of a voyage of
     discovery to Guinea, from which he had now returned,’ granted him
     an annuity of ten thousand reals, to be continued to one surviving
     son; and a few days afterwards, on April 14, he separated his
     ‘cavalier’ from the common herd and made him noble, and gave him a
     coat-of-arms charged with the two padrões which he had erected on
     the coast of Africa.

            *       *       *       *       *

     “Far more useful for our purpose is the pillar which formerly stood
     on Cape Cross, and which Captain Becker of the Falke carried off to
     Kiel[13] in 1893. Dr. Scheppig has fully described the pillar.

     “The Portuguese inscription says--‘In the year 6685 of the creation
     of the world, and of Christ 485, the excellent, illustrious King D.
     João II. of Portugal did direct this land to be discovered, and
     this padrão to be set up by Dº Cão, a cavalleiro (knight) of his

     “As the year 6685 of the Eusebian era begins on September 1, 1485,
     Cão must have departed after that day, and before the close of the
     year. As he had returned from his first voyage before April, 1484,
     his departure must have been delayed for reasons not known to us.


     “No sooner had Cão’s vessels returned to the Tagus than King John,
     whose curiosity had been excited by the reports about the supposed
     Prester John, brought home by d’Aveiro, determined to fit out
     another expedition to go in quest of him by doubling Africa, Friar
     Antonio of Lisbon and Pero of Montaroyo having already been
     despatched on the same errand by way of Jerusalem and Egypt. The
     command of this expedition was conferred upon Bartholomeu Dias de
     Novaes, a cavalier of the king’s household.... It certainly was our
     Bartholomew who commanded one of the vessels despatched in 1481
     with Diogo d’Azambuja to the Gold Coast.

     [Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

     “The appointment seems to have been made in October, 1486, for on
     the 10th of that month King John, ‘in consideration of services
     which he hoped to receive,’ conferred upon Bartholomeu Dias, the
     ‘patron’ of the _S. Christovão_, a royal vessel, an annuity of
     6,000 reis.

     “The account which João de Barros has transmitted to us of the
     remarkable expedition which resulted in the discovery of the Cape
     of Good Hope is fragmentary, and on some points undoubtedly
     erroneous. Unfortunately, up till now no official report of the
     expedition has been discovered; but there are a few incidental
     references to it, which enable us to amplify, and in some measure
     to correct, the version put forward by the great Portuguese

     “Most important among these independent witnesses is a marginal
     note on fol. 13 of a copy of Pierre d’Ailly’s _Imago mundi_, which
     was the property of Christopher Columbus, and is still in the
     Columbine Library at Seville. This ‘note’ reads as follows:--

     “‘Note, that in December of this year, 1488, there landed at Lisbon
     Bartholomeu Didacus [Dias], the commander of three caravels, whom
     the King of Portugal had sent to Guinea to seek out the land, and
     who reported that he had sailed 600 leagues beyond the furthest
     reached hitherto, that is, 450 leagues to the south and then 150
     leagues to the north, as far as a cape named by him the Cape of
     Good Hope, which cape we judge to be in Agisimba, its latitude, as
     determined by the astrolabe, being 45° S., and its distance from
     Lisbon 3100 leagues. This voyage he [Dias] had depicted and
     described from league to league upon a chart, so that he might show
     it to the king; at all of which I was present (_in quibus omnibus

     “The same voyage is referred to in a second ‘note’ discovered in
     the margin of the _Historia rerum ubique gestarum_ of Pope Pius
     II., printed at Venice in 1477. From this second note we learn that
     ‘one of the captains whom the most serene King of Portugal sent
     forth to seek out the land in Guinea brought back word in 1488 that
     he had sailed 45° beyond the equinoctial line.’

     “Las Casas (_Historia de las Indias_, lib. i. c. 7) assumed these
     notes to have been written by Bartholomew Columbus, whom, as the
     result of a misconception of the meaning of the concluding words of
     the note, he supposed to have taken part in this voyage. These
     assumptions, however, are absolutely inadmissible, for as early as
     February 10, 1488, Bartholomew had completed at London a map of the
     world for Henry VII. If we remember that Bartholomew was detained
     by pirates for several weeks before he reached England, he must
     have left Lisbon towards the end of 1487. He did not return to that
     place until many years afterwards.

     “On the other hand, the note is unhesitatingly recognized as in the
     handwriting of Christopher by such competent authorities as
     Varnhagen, d’Avezac, H. Harrisse, Asensio, and Cesare de Lollis.

     [Sidenote: Criticism of the Account by Barros.]

     “And if Christopher is the author of these notes, they must have
     been written in 1488, for it was in March, 1488, that King Manuel,
     in response to an application, cordially invited his ‘especial
     friend,’ Christopher Columbus, to come to Lisbon, promising him
     protection against all criminal and civil proceedings that might be
     taken against him. Columbus, when he received this royal
     invitation, was at Seville, where his son Ferdinand was born unto
     him on September 28, 1488. If he left Seville soon afterwards, he
     may certainly have been present on the memorable occasion, in
     December, 1488, when Bartholomeu Dias rendered an account to the
     king of the results of his hope-inspiring voyage.

     “If then, Bartholomeu Dias returned in December, 1488, after an
     absence (according to De Barros) of sixteen months and seventeen
     days, he must have started towards the end of July or in the
     beginning of August, 1487; and if the Bartholomeu Dias referred to
     in the royal rescript of October 10, 1486, is the discoverer of the
     Cape, which hardly admits of a doubt, he cannot have started in
     July, 1486, as usually assumed. He cannot have been in Lisbon in
     December, 1487.

     “This date (namely 1488) is further confirmed by Duarte Pacheco
     Pereira, the ‘Achilles Lusitano’ of Camoens, for in his _Esmeraldo
     de Situ Orbis_, written soon after 1505, but only published in
     1892, we are told that the Cape was discovered in 1488. And Pacheco
     is a very competent witness, for Dias, on his homeward voyage, met
     him at the Ilha do Principe.

     “A further statement respecting the date of the discovery of the
     Cape appears in the _Parecer_, or ‘Opinion,’ of the Spanish
     astronomers and pilots already referred to. They say, ‘And beyond
     this [the Sierra Parda, where Cão died], Bartolomé Diaz, in the
     year 1488, discovered as far as the Cabo d’El-Rei, a distance of
     350 leagues; and thence to the Cabo de boa Esperança, 250 leagues;
     and thence D. Vasco da Gama discovered 600 leagues.’”

     This evidence does not seem to me to be by any means conclusive.

     The marginal note supposed to have been made by Christopher
     Columbus I reject at once, as I cannot believe that the latitude
     named in it was given by Dias or recorded by Columbus.

     As for the work of Duarte Pacheco, it cannot for a moment be placed
     in the scale against Barros. Its author was born in Lisbon about
     1451, and is believed to have died in poverty some time between the
     years 1524 and 1553. It was he who was rescued at Prince’s Island
     and taken to Lisbon, so that he must have been acquainted with the
     correct date, but as his original manuscript has perished and the
     copy made from it was done carelessly and certainly contains
     transcriber’s errors, I do not think much dependence can be placed
     on his statements. There are two manuscript copies of his work in
     existence. The oldest, now in the library at Evora, is supposed
     from the style of the writing to have been made about the close of
     the sixteenth century, and the other, now in the National Library
     in Lisbon, is merely a transcript of the first made at a much later
     date. The work was published at Lisbon in 1892 in a foolscap folio
     volume of xxxv+125 pages, and is divided into four books. It is
     entitled _Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis, por Duarte Pacheco Pereira.
     Edição commemorativa da Descoberta da America por Christovão
     Colombo no seu quarto centenario, sob a direcção de Raphael Eduardo
     de Azevedo Basta, Conservador do Real Archivo da Torre do Tombo_.

     [Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

     I give here the two references to the voyage of Dias, from which
     the reader can see how little this work of Duarte Pacheco is to be
     depended upon. In a reference to the first voyage of Diogo Cam he
     states, as in the second of these, that the inscription on the
     cross was in three languages: Latin, Portuguese, and Arabic. That
     identical cross is still in existence, and there is no Arabic upon
     it. See also the confusion between the Penedo das Fontes and the
     Ilheo da Santa Cruz.

     Terceyro Liuro, pagina 90.

     Nom sem muita rasam se poz nome a este promontorio cabo da boa
     esperança por que Bartholomeu Dias que o descobrio por mandado
     delRey Dom Joham que Deos tem no anno de nosso senhor de mil
     quatrocentos & oitenta & oito annos veendo que esta costa & Ribeira
     do mar voltaua daly em diante ao norte & ao nordest....

     Terceyro Liuro, pagina 94.

     Item; sinco leguoas adiante dangra do Rico esta hum Ilheo pouco
     mais de mea leguoa de terra que se chama ho penedo das fontes o
     qual nome Ihe pos Bertholameu Dias que esta terra descobrio por
     mandado delRey Dom Joham que Deos tem por que achou aly duas fontes
     de muito boa augua doce & por outro nome se chama este penedo ho
     Ilheo da Cruz por que o mesmo Bertholameu Dias pos aly hum padram
     de pedra pouco mais alto que hum homem com huma cruz em sima & este
     padram tem tres letreyros.s. hum em latim & outro em harabiguo &
     outro em nossa lingua portugueza & todos tres dizem huma cousa.s.
     como elRey Dom Joham no anno de nosso senhor Jesus cristo de mil
     CCCC & oytenta & oyto annos & em tantos annos da creaçam do mundo
     mandou descobrir esta costa por Bertholameu Dias capitam de seus
     nauios; ...

     The remaining references seem to me equally weak, and until
     something more conclusive comes to light I think it would be well
     to adhere to the dates of Barros. I notice, however, that Mr. K. G.
     Jayne, in his _Vasco da Gama and his Successors_, has adopted the
     dates of Mr. Ravenstein.


_First Voyages of the French and English to the Eastern Seas. And a
Sketch of the Early History of the Netherlands and of the Establishment
of the Dutch in India._




The debt which the world owes to the Portuguese for weakening the
Mohamedan power and thus preventing the subjugation of a larger portion
of Eastern Europe than was actually overrun by the Turks should not be
forgotten, but long before the close of the sixteenth century they had
ceased to be participants in the great progressive movement of the
Caucasian race. Upon a conquering nation rests an enormous
responsibility: no less than that of benefiting the world at large. Was
Portugal doing this in her eastern possessions to such an extent as to
make her displacement there a matter deserving universal regret?
Probably her own people would reply that she was, for every nation
regards its own acts as better than those of others; but beyond her
borders the answer unquestionably would be that she was not. Rapacity,
cruelty, corruption, have all been laid to her charge at this period,
and not without sufficient reason. But apart from these vices, her
weakness under the Castilian kings was such that she was incapable of
doing any good. When an individual is too infirm and decrepit to manage
his affairs, a robust man takes his place, and so it is with States. The
weak one may cry out that might is not right, but such a cry finds a
very feeble echo. India was not held by the Portuguese under the only
indefeasible tenure: that of making the best use of it; and thus it
could be seized by a stronger power without Christian nations feeling
that a wrong was being done.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Before recounting in brief the rise of the Northern Netherlands to a
proud position among European states, and the commencement of the Dutch
conquests in the eastern seas, a glance may be given to the earliest
acts of other nations, and especially to those of our own countrymen, in
those distant regions.

The French were the first to follow the Portuguese round the Cape of
Good Hope to India. As early as 1507 a corsair of that nation, named
Mondragon, made his appearance in the Mozambique channel[14] with two
armed vessels, and plundered a ship commanded by Job Queimado. He also
captured and robbed another Indiaman nearer home. On the 18th of January
1509 a fleet commanded by Duarte Pacheco Pereira fell in with him off
Cape Finisterre, and after a warm engagement sank one of his ships and
captured the other. Mondragon was taken a prisoner to Lisbon, where he
found means of making his peace with the king, and he was then permitted
to return to France.

Twenty years later three ships, fitted out by a merchant named Jean
Ango, sailed from Dieppe for India. The accounts of this expedition are
so conflicting that it is impossible to relate the occurrences attending
it with absolute accuracy. It is certain, however, that one of the ships
never reached her destination. Another was wrecked on the coast of
Sumatra, where her crew were all murdered. The third reached Diu in July
1527. She had a crew of forty Frenchmen, but was commanded by a
Portuguese named Estevão Dias, nicknamed Brigas, who had fled from his
native country on account of misdeeds committed there, and had taken
service with the strangers. The ruler of Diu regarded this ship with
great hostility, and as he was unable to seize her openly, he practised
deceit to get her crew within his power. Professing friendship, he gave
Dias permission to trade in his territory, but took advantage of the
first opportunity to arrest him and his crew. They were handed over as
captives to the paramount Mohamedan ruler, and were obliged to embrace
his creed to preserve their lives. They were then taken into his service
and remained in India.

[Sidenote: Early Voyages of the French.]

Early in 1529 two ships commanded by Jean and Raoul Parmentier, fitted
out partly by Jean Ango, partly by merchants of Rouen, sailed from
Dieppe. In October of the same year they reached Sumatra, but on account
of great loss of life from sickness, on the 22nd of January 1530 they
turned homeward. As they avoided the Portuguese settlements, nothing was
known at Goa of their proceedings except what was told by a sailor who
was left behind at Madagascar and was afterwards found there. This
expedition was almost as unsuccessful as the preceding one. On their
return passage the ships were greatly damaged in violent storms, and
they reached Europe with difficulty.

From that time until 1601 there is no trace of a French vessel having
passed the Cape of Good Hope. In May of this year the _Corbin_ and
_Croissant_, two ships fitted out by some merchants of Laval and Vitré,
sailed from St. Malo. They reached the Maldives safely, but there the
_Corbin_ was lost in July 1602, and her commander was unable to return
to France until ten years had gone by. The _Croissant_ was lost on the
Spanish coast on her homeward passage.

On the 1st of June 1604 a French East India Company was established on
paper, but it did not get further. In 1615 it was reorganised, and in
1617 the first successful expedition to India under the French flag
sailed from a port in Normandy. From that date onward ships of this
nation were frequently seen in the eastern seas. But the French made no
attempt to form a settlement in South Africa, and their only connection
with this country was that towards the middle of the seventeenth century
a vessel was sent occasionally from Rochelle to collect a cargo of
sealskins and oil at the islands in and near the present Saldanha Bay.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The English were the next to appear in Indian waters. A few individuals
of this nation may have served in Portuguese ships, and among the
missionaries, especially of the Company of Jesus, who went out to
convert the heathen, it is not unlikely that there were several. One at
least, Thomas Stephens by name, was rector of the Jesuit college at
Salsette. A letter written by him from Goa in 1579, and printed in the
second volume of Hakluyt’s work, is the earliest account extant of an
English voyager to that part of the world.[15] It contains no
information of importance.

The famous sea captain Francis Drake, of Tavistock in Devon, sailed from
Plymouth on the 13th of December 1577, with the intention of exploring
the Pacific ocean. His fleet consisted of five vessels, carrying in all
one hundred and sixty-four men. His own ship, named the Pelican, was of
one hundred and twenty tons burden. The others were the _Elizabeth_,
eighty tons, the _Marigold_, thirty tons, a pinnace of twelve tons, and
a storeship of fifty tons burden. The last named was set on fire as soon
as her cargo was transferred to the others, the pinnace was abandoned,
the _Marigold_ was lost in a storm, the _Elizabeth_, after reaching the
Pacific, turned back through the straits of Magellan, and the _Pelican_
alone continued the voyage. She was the first English ship that sailed
round the world. Captain Drake reached England again on the 3rd of
November 1580, and soon afterwards was made a knight by Queen Elizabeth
on board his ship. The _Pelican_ did not touch at any part of the South
African coast, but there is the following paragraph in the account of
the voyage:--

[Sidenote: First Englishmen in the East.]

“We ran hard aboard the Cape, finding the report of the Portuguese to be
most false, who affirm that it is the most dangerous cape of the world,
never without intolerable storms and present danger to travellers who
come near the same. This cape is a most stately thing, and the fairest
cape we saw in the whole circumference of the earth, and we passed by it
on the 18th of June.”

In 1583 four English traders in precious stones, acting partly on their
own account and partly as agents for merchants in London, made their way
by the Tigris and the Persian gulf to Ormuz, where at that time people
of various nationalities were engaged in commerce. John Newbery, the
leader of the party, had been there before. The others were named Ralph
Fitch, William Leades, and James Story. Shortly after their arrival at
Ormuz they were arrested by the Portuguese authorities on the double
charge of being heretics and spies of the prior Dom Antonio, who was a
claimant to the throne of Portugal, and under these pretences they were
sent prisoners to Goa. There they managed to clear themselves of the
first of the charges, Story entered a convent, and the others, on
finding bail not to leave the city, were set at liberty in December
1584, mainly through the instrumentality of the Jesuit father Stephens
and Jan Huyghen van Linscheten, of whom more will be related in the
following pages. Four months afterwards, being in fear of ill-treatment,
they managed to make their escape from Goa. After a time they separated,
and Fitch went on a tour through India, visiting many places before his
return to England in 1591. An account of his travels is extant in
Hakluyt’s collection, but there is not much information in it, and it
had no effect upon subsequent events.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Thomas Candish sailed from Plymouth on the 21st of July 1586, with three
ships--the _Desire_, of one hundred and twenty tons, the _Content_, of
sixty tons, and the _Hugh Gallant_, of forty tons--carrying in all one
hundred and twenty-three souls. After sailing round the globe, he
arrived again in Plymouth on the 9th of September 1588, having passed
the Cape of Good Hope on the 16th of May.

The first English ships that put into a harbour on the South African
coast were the _Penelope_, _Merchant Royal_, and _Edward Bonaventure_,
which sailed from Plymouth for India on the 10th of April 1591, under
command of Admiral George Raymond. This fleet put into the watering
place of Saldanha, now called Table Bay, at the end of July. The crews,
who were suffering from scurvy, were at once sent on shore, where they
obtained fresh food by shooting wild fowl and gathering mussels and
other shell-fish along the rocky beach. Some inhabitants had been seen
when the ships sailed in, but they appeared terrified, and at once moved
inland. Admiral Raymond visited Robben Island, where he found seals and
penguins in great numbers. One day some hunters caught a Hottentot, whom
they treated kindly, making him many presents and endeavouring to show
him by signs that they were in want of cattle. They then let him go, and
eight days afterwards he returned with thirty or forty others, bringing
forty oxen and as many sheep. Trade was at once commenced, the price of
an ox being two knives, that of a sheep one knife. So many men had died
of scurvy that it was considered advisable to send the _Merchant Royal_
back to England weak handed. The _Penelope_, with one hundred and one
men, and the _Edward Bonaventure_, with ninety-seven men, sailed for
India on the 8th of September. On the 12th a gale was encountered, and
that night those in the _Edward Bonaventure_, whereof was master James
Lancaster--who was afterwards famous as an advocate of Arctic
exploration, and whose name was given by Bylot and Baffin to the sound
which terminated their discoveries in 1616--saw a great sea break over
the admiral’s ship, which put out her lights. After that she was never
seen or heard of again.

[Sidenote: The Beginning of Dutch History.]

The appearance of these rivals in the Indian seas caused much concern in
Spain and Portugal. There was as yet no apprehension of the loss of the
sources of the spice trade, but it was regarded as probable that English
ships would lie in wait at St. Helena for richly laden vessels homeward
bound, so in 1591 and again in 1593 the king directed the viceroy to
instruct the captains not to touch at that island.

At this time a new state, the republic of the United Netherlands, had
recently come into existence in Europe. It was a state full of life and
vigour, though its territory was even smaller than that of Portugal.
Constantly battling with the ocean that threatened to submerge the land,
breathing an invigorating air, coming from an energetic and
self-respecting stock, its people were the hardiest and most industrious
of Europeans. They were also attached to freedom, and ready to part with
property and life itself rather than submit to tyranny or misrule. A
brief outline of their history will show how they came to contend with
Portugal at the close of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the
seventeenth for the commerce of the Indian seas.[16]

The territory that now forms the kingdom of the Netherlands was the last
part of the continent of Europe to be occupied by human beings. For
untold ages the Rhine, the Maas, and the Schelde had been carrying down
earth and the ocean had been casting up sand, until at last a tract of
swampy but habitable ground appeared where previously waves had rolled.
That was not many centuries before the commencement of the Christian
era, and so no traces of palæolithic man are found there such as are
found in all other parts of Europe, and in great abundance in some parts
of modern Belgium close by. The most ancient relics of man discovered in
the northern Netherlands are comparatively recent flint implements,
tumuli containing funeral urns, and the so-called hunebedden, sepulchres
of men of note, roughly built of stone taken from boulders carried from
the Scandinavian peninsula by ice in glacial times, and deposited on the
banks not yet risen to the surface of the sea. These hunebedden are
found chiefly in the present province of Drenthe, and may not date much
further back than Roman times.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The Batavi, a Nether Teuton tribe, driven westward by war, about a
century before the birth of Christ found their way into the island
enclosed by the North sea and the extreme forks of the Rhine, which was
then a waste of morasses, lakelets, and forests. It had previously been
occupied by a Celtic population, that had abandoned it not long before
on account of disasters from floods. The position of the forks of the
Rhine was probably different from what it is to-day, for the whole face
of the country has undergone a great change since the Batavians first
saw it. Large tracts of land have been reclaimed, and still larger
tracts have been lost by the sea washing over them. Thus in the
thirteenth century of our era the very heart of the country was torn out
by the ocean, and villages and towns and wide pastures were buried for
ever under the deep waters since termed the Zuider Zee. In 1277 the
Dollart was formed between Groningen and Hanover, and in 1421 the
Biesbosch between Brabant and Holland took the place of habitable land.

[Sidenote: Different Races in the Netherlands.]

Farther north than the Batavians, the Frisians, also a Nether Teuton
people, occupied a great extent of country, but it is impossible to say
when they first took possession of it. These Batavians and Frisians were
the nearest blood relations of the Angles and Saxons who at a later date
conquered England and part of Scotland, and their language was so nearly
the same that our great Alfred could with little difficulty have
understood it.

The southern part of what is now the kingdom of Belgium and the
adjoining districts of France were inhabited at this time by a Celtic
people, who had long before replaced the early palæolithic savages.
Between them and the Batavians and Frisians was a broad tract occupied
by Teutons and Celts mixed together, who do not appear, however, to have
blended their blood to any great extent. This was the condition of the
country at the beginning of the Christian era, and it was its condition
more than fifteen centuries later, when Philippe II was king of Spain
and Elizabeth Tudor was queen of England.

Cæsar conquered the Celts and compelled the Frisians to pay tribute, but
he admitted the Batavians to an alliance, and thereafter for hundreds of
years they voluntarily supplied the Roman army with its bravest
soldiers. They gave their blood for Rome, and in return received
civilisation. During this period they learned to construct dykes to
prevent the ocean and the rivers from overflowing the land, to dig
canals, to make highways, and to build bridges.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Then came the outpouring of the northern nations upon the western
empire, and when it ceased the power that had overshadowed the earth had
gone. In its stead the Franks were masters of the Celtic portion of the
Netherlands, where the Latin tongue was spoken, and tribes akin to the
Frisian had mixed with the occupants of the north. The Batavians
remained, but their distinctive name had disappeared, and so the racial
division of the land was as it had been before.

Some of the Frisians had been converted to Christianity by Anglo-Saxon
missionaries, and in A.D. 750 the whole of them, after a crushing defeat
by Charles Martel, accepted that religion. In A.D. 785 their conquest
was completed by Charlemagne, and the whole region then became a section
of the dominions of that able and powerful ruler. The bishopric of
Utrecht was founded at this time. Extensive domains were attached to the
see, and the bishop, besides the ecclesiastical authority which he
exercised over the whole of the Frisians, was temporal ruler of a
territory constantly varying in size, sometimes covering several of the
modern provinces.

Charlemagne left the local customs of the people of the Netherlands
undisturbed, and sent officials to govern them according to their own
laws, though in his name. Under his feeble successors the country was
broken up into a number of practically petty sovereignties by the
descendants of his officials, who now claimed hereditary authority and
ruled as despots. They called themselves dukes, counts, marquises, or
lords, and often quarrelled with each other. Most of them nominally
admitted the precedence in rank of the head of the Holy Roman Empire, as
the counts of Flanders and Artois did that of the kings of France, but
this was the full extent of their submission.

The Scandinavian pirates sailed up the rivers and made frequent attacks
upon the towns and villages on their banks, they plundered and murdered
many of the people, but they did not form permanent settlements as they
did in the more attractive lands of Normandy and Sicily.

[Sidenote: Growth of the Towns.]

The country not being capable of supporting its inhabitants by
agriculture and cattle breeding alone, manufactures and commerce were
necessary, and in addition the fisheries became a means of living for
many. They traded with England, buying wool, with the coast of the
Baltic, selling woollen and linen cloths, and with all north-western
Europe, selling Indian products, of which Bruges was the emporium for
the Italian merchants. So towns grew and prospered, and in course of
time obtained municipal charters from their sovereigns. In A.D. 1217 the
first of these in the present kingdom of the Netherlands was granted by
Count William the First of Holland and Countess Joanna of Flanders to
the town of Middelburg in Zeeland. It did not indeed confer great
privileges, but it was the beginning of a system which had most
important effects upon the country. The crusades tended to hasten this
movement. The petty sovereigns who took part in them were very willing
to sell privileges for ready money, which they needed for their
equipment, and their subjects were quite as willing to buy.

So the towns grew in number and in size, and succeeded in obtaining,
usually by purchase, a large amount of self-government and the right of
sending deputies to the estates or parliaments, who sat with the nobles
to confer upon general affairs. Just as the various kings of the Saxon
states in England, the petty sovereigns were continually quarrelling
with each other, and their number varied from time to time, as one or
other got the mastery over his neighbours. Not the least prominent or
quarrelsome among them was the bishop of Utrecht, whose dominions
contracted or expanded with the fortunes of diplomacy or war. The
estates of his province consisted of deputies from the towns, the
nobles, and abbots, over whom he presided as a sovereign. In some of the
little dominions the privileges of the towns were much greater than in
others, in several indeed the cities were practically little short of
being independent republics. Unfortunately they were so jealous of each
other that they could not unite in carrying out any policy that would
have benefited the whole province, and there was no tie whatever that
bound the different provinces together. Each city with a little domain
around it stood alone, and though it might enjoy self-government, its
position was precarious, for it could not depend upon anything outside
of itself to assist it if necessary to maintain its rights against an

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

This was the condition of affairs political when, owing partly to the
extinction of some of the ruling families, partly to purchase, and
partly to fraud and force, in 1437 a majority of the provinces--among
them Holland and Zeeland--came under the dominion of Philippe, the
powerful duke of Burgundy. They continued, however, to be independent of
each other, and were governed by him as distinct states, of one of which
he was termed duke, of another count, and so on, though he established a
council at Mechlin, which acted as a court of appeal for them all. He
was married to the youngest daughter of João I of Portugal and Philippa
of Lancaster, Isabella by name, whose nephew, Affonso V, in 1466 made
her a present of the Azores or Western Islands. A considerable number of
families from the Netherlands, whose descendants can still be
distinguished there, then migrated to the Flemish islands, as they were
long thereafter termed. These dependencies shared the fate of the other
dominions of the house of Burgundy until 1640, when they reverted to

Philippe suppressed much of the freedom that had been gained, but he
encouraged and protected commerce and manufactures, and under his rule
the provinces increased greatly in material wealth. He died in 1467,
and was succeeded by his son Charles the Headstrong, a perfectly
reckless and unprincipled ruler, who endeavoured to crush out all the
acquired freedom of the people, and nearly succeeded in establishing
himself as an absolute despot. His first wife was Catherine of Valois,
by whom he had only one daughter. After her death he married, on the 3rd
of July 1468, Margaret of York, sister of Edward IV of England, but had
no children by her. Like his father, he governed the Netherlands by
means of officials termed stadholders, who acted as his representatives
and carried out his instructions. The first standing army in the country
was stationed there by him. Charles was killed in battle with the Swiss
in 1477, and as he left no son, his daughter, Mary of Burgundy, claimed
the right of succeeding him as sovereign of all the provinces he had
ruled over.

[Sidenote: Privileges of the Towns.]

Louis XI of France, however, on the ground that the Salic law was
applicable in this case, took possession of Burgundy, and cast longing
eyes on the Netherlands as well. In this hour of danger, the estates of
all the provinces came together at Ghent, when the lady Mary voluntarily
restored all the privileges and rights that her father and grandfather
had annulled. She even went further, and granted the “Groot Privilegie,”
which conferred such extensive authority upon the estates that under its
clauses despotism or even misgovernment would be impossible, for no
taxes could be imposed and no war undertaken without their consent, and
edicts of the sovereign were to be invalid if they conflicted with the
privileges of the towns. Only natives of the particular province could
be appointed to offices in any of them, thus a native of Brabant or
Namur could not fill an office in Flanders or Holland. Persons charged
with crime were to be brought to trial speedily, and no citizen could be
arbitrarily imprisoned by the ruler. A more liberal constitution could
hardly have been imagined at that time nor indeed even at present.

The estates were then ready to support the lady Mary, they acknowledged
her as their sovereign, and with their approval she married Maximilian
of Hapsburg, son of the German emperor. Five years later she was killed
by a fall from her horse, leaving a son, Philippe by name, then four
years of age, as heir to her sovereignty of the Netherlands. Maximilian
claimed to act as regent and guardian of his son, and was accepted as
such by all of the provinces subject to Burgundy except Flanders, which
he got possession of by force. He disowned the “Great Privilege,” as did
his son Philippe, when in 1494 at seventeen years of age he assumed the

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

In 1496 Philippe married Joanna, eldest daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon
and Isabella of Castile. Her sister Catherine was destined at a later
date to play an important part in English history as the spouse of King
Henry the Eighth. From the union of Philippe and Joanna was born in the
year 1500 a son, who as the emperor Charles V was the most powerful
monarch in Europe. From his mother he inherited the sovereignty of
Spain, of portions of Italy, and of the greater part of the New World,
with the title of king, from his father he inherited the sovereignty of
all the Netherlands except Gelderland, Utrecht, the Frisian provinces,
and Liege, with the titles of count and duke, and by election of the
German princes he became the head of the Holy Roman Empire, with the
title of emperor. His father Philippe died in 1506, and the Netherlands
became the first portion of his vast inheritance that fell to him. To
those provinces that had been dependencies of Burgundy, he was able to
add Friesland in 1524, Utrecht and Overyssel in 1528, and Groningen and
Drenthe in 1536, all obtained by cession after long civil war, when the
bishop of Utrecht, who was unable to protect himself from the duke of
Gelderland, resigned his temporal authority. In 1543 he conquered
Gelderland, and in the following year he compelled the king of France,
to whom his father Philippe had done homage for Flanders and Artois, to
renounce the suzerainty of those provinces, so that the entire country,
Liege only excepted, came under his undisputed sovereignty. In this
manner the provinces became united with Spain under one ruler, though
their governments remained distinct.

[Sidenote: Rule of Charles V.]

Under Charles just as much or as little freedom as he pleased was left
to the people of the Netherlands, for he regarded his edicts as superior
in authority to all charters or customs, and he inflicted terrible
vengeance upon the city of Ghent, his own birthplace, for daring to
resist the payment of an amount of money that he arbitrarily demanded.
He professed to regard the provinces with favour, but he drew largely
upon their resources to enable him to carry on wars in which they had no
interest whatever.

And now another factor came into play, which tended very greatly to
increase the bitterness of the people at the diminution of freedom. The
reformation had commenced, and its principles were spreading in the
Netherlands. Charles, who regarded schism as even more criminal than
rebellion, attempted to stamp out the new teaching, and for this purpose
introduced the inquisition. His sister Mary, dowager queen of Hungary,
acted as regent of the country for twenty-five years, and carried out
his instructions in letter and in spirit. Many thousands of people
perished by various forms of death, but wretched as the condition of the
unhappy Netherlanders was, a still darker day was about to dawn upon

It is generally affirmed that there were seventeen distinct provinces at
this time, but in fact the number seventeen was derived from the titles
of the sovereign and the accidental circumstance that there were
seventeen separate estates present at the abdication of Charles V,[17]
though these did not correspond exactly with the titles. For instance,
one of the titles was count of Zutphen, but Zutphen had for centuries
been part of Gelderland; another of the titles was marquis of Anvers or
Antwerp, but Antwerp was a city of Brabant. On the other hand Lille with
Douai and Orchies, though cities of Flanders, had separate estates, but
did not furnish a title, the same was the case with Valenciennes, a city
of Hainaut, while Mechlin, in the very heart of Brabant, had separate
estates and furnished the title lord of Malines or Mechlin.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

What would be termed provinces to-day were the duchies of Gelderland,
Brabant, Limburg, and Luxemburg, the counties of Holland, Zeeland,
Flanders, Namur or Namen, Hainaut or Henegouwen, and Artois, and the
lordships of Utrecht, Friesland, Groningen with Drenthe, Overyssel, and
Mechlin or Malines.[18] To make seventeen, the county of Zutphen and the
marquisate of Antwerp must be added if titles alone are considered, or
if states present at the abdication of Charles V be taken as a guide,
Lille with Douai and Orchies and Tournai with the Tournaisis[19] must
be included. Only five of these--Holland, Utrecht, Friesland, Groningen,
and Overyssel--remain on the map to-day as they were in the middle of
the sixteenth century. Of them all, Brabant was the most important at
that time, Flanders came next, and Holland, soon to take the leading
place, was regarded as only the third.[20]

[Sidenote: Accession of Philippe II.]

On the 25th of October 1555 in presence of the estates of seventeen
provinces assembled at Brussels, the emperor Charles the Fifth, worn out
with disease and infirmity, abdicated the sovereignty, and his son
Philippe became ruler in his stead. The change was all for the worse.
Charles had been a despot, it is true, but he was by birth a
Netherlander, he spoke the language of the people, and took an interest
in their commerce and their manufactures; Philippe was a Spaniard,
ignorant of Flemish (_i.e._ Dutch) and of French, and without a particle
of sympathy with them in any particular.

For the first four years of his reign Philippe resided in the
Netherlands, though he appointed the duke of Savoy regent of the
country. They were years of war between Spain and France, and the
Netherlands were obliged to aid their sovereign very largely with money
and with men. Under the count of Egmont as their general, the combined
Spanish and Flemish forces won the great battles of Saint Quentin and
Gravelines, but the French were compensated by taking Calais from the
English, for Queen Mary Tudor had provoked attack by giving assistance
in the war to her husband King Philippe.

Peace having been concluded, in 1559 the king prepared to return to
Spain, where his surroundings would be much more congenial. He appointed
Margaret of Parma, a natural daughter of the emperor Charles the Fifth
and consequently his own half sister, regent of the Netherlands, but all
real authority was confided to the bishop of Arras, afterwards widely
known as Cardinal Granvelle. This man was a staunch absolutist in
politics, and could be depended upon to carry out the king’s wishes to
the utmost of his ability. And the dearest wish of the king was to
extirpate the new doctrines in religion, which he clearly saw would tend
to produce a far more liberal system of government than he approved of.
Among the appointments made before he left was that of William prince of
Orange to be stadholder of the provinces of Holland, Zeeland, and
Utrecht, but subject to the authority of the duchess of Parma, who was
to be guided by the bishop of Arras.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Against the entreaties and protests of the estates, Philippe left in the
Netherlands four thousand Spanish soldiers, the most highly disciplined
troops in Europe at that time.

Previous to this date, excepting the sovereign bishop of Liege,[21]
whose territory was independent and therefore not then included in the
provinces, there had only been four bishops in the whole of the
Netherlands: one in Utrecht in what is now the kingdom of Holland, one
at Tournai in the present kingdom of Belgium, and two at Arras and
Cambrai in territory since annexed to France. Philippe obtained from the
pope a bull increasing the number to three archbishops and fifteen
bishops, of whom one archbishop at Utrecht and six bishops at Haarlem,
Middelburg, Leeuwarden, Groningen, Deventer, and ’s Hertogenbosch, were
to be stationed in the northern provinces, now the kingdom of Holland.
Each was to have inquisitors serving under him.

[Sidenote: Dissatisfaction of the People.]

These measures gave intense dissatisfaction to the whole body of the
people, nobles, burghers, and artisans alike. There was not a single
Protestant noble in the country at the time, and the great majority of
the people were still adherents of the Roman church, but Catholics and
Calvinists alike were opposed to persecution in matters of faith and to
the erection of ecclesiastical power upon the ruins of civil liberty.
Still the king[22] would not yield, and the people were as yet
indisposed to resist in arms. Perhaps they did not know their own
strength, and over-estimated that opposed to them. There was no such
thing either as political union among them. Seventeen states jealous of
each other, and each important state containing rival towns, presented
to a despot a field that could be easily worked. Still greater suffering
was needed before the people could unite against the murderous hand that
was raised to crush them.

After a time the Spanish soldiers, who were needed elsewhere, were
withdrawn, but matters went on no better afterwards. The whole hatred of
the country was turned against Cardinal Granvelle, who was believed to
be the instigator of all the evil, and at length the duchess Margaret
grew to detest him also, so that Philippe was obliged to recall him. He
left the Netherlands in March 1564, and after a short period of
retirement, was employed by the king in still higher offices.

The government of the duchess Margaret was corrupt, though perhaps not
more so than that of some other administrations of the time. Offices
were sold to the highest bidder by her secretary, and she as well as he
profited by such transactions. Under such circumstances the courts of
law were venal, and judgment in civil cases was usually in favour of him
who had the longest purse. A man who had to pay a large sum of money for
his office was obliged to try to recover his capital by some means, and
as that could not be done honestly, he was open to receive bribes. In
the great agony caused by the inquisition, however, this evil was hardly
considered as one of importance, and is only casually referred to by the
chroniclers of the time.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The great number of persons burnt, buried alive, and strangled by the
inquisitors had the opposite effect to that which King Philippe
intended. Instead of stamping out the reformation, its doctrines were
spreading more rapidly month after month, until mass meetings of
thousands of people were openly held in the fields outside the towns to
listen to the preaching of some earnest and eloquent reformer. The men
on such occasions usually went armed and determined to defend their
pastors and themselves, but if need should be, they were ready to face
death in its most appalling forms for the sake of what they believed to
be truth.

Another effect of the inquisition was to destroy the material prosperity
of the country. Flanders had long been the leading cloth manufactory of
Europe, it was there that wool, imported chiefly from England, was
converted by spinning wheels and handlooms into the choicest cloths.
Nowhere else were spinning, weaving, dyeing, and pressing so well
understood or so skilfully practised as in the Flemish towns. But now
persecution drove those industrious artisans out of the country. They
fled to England, where Queen Elizabeth permitted them to settle, and it
was they who in East Anglia gave to the country that adopted and
protected them the preëminence in woollen manufactures which she retains
to this day. A very few years later, instead of exporting raw wool and
importing cloth, England was sending to Flanders the products of
Anglo-Flemish looms. This was not the only industry that persecution
drove from the provinces to other lands, but it was the most important.

[Sidenote: Destruction of Church Property.]

All parties in politics and in religion find it necessary to adopt an
expressive name, under which their adherents can rally, and it was at
this time that the opponents of despotic government took to themselves
the renowned title of Beggars, that was to be heard as a war cry on land
and sea long years afterwards. On the 8th of April 1566 three hundred
gentlemen presented a petition to the duchess Margaret, when a member of
her council spoke of them as beggars. That evening at a banquet Count
Brederode proposed that the title should be adopted, which was
enthusiastically agreed to by those present, and quickly spread over the
provinces. At first it had no religious signification, for both
Catholics and Protestants who favoured the preservation of
constitutional rights termed themselves Gueux, but in course of time it
was applied almost exclusively to the adherents of the reformed or
Calvinistic faith.

In such circumstances as those in which the Netherlands were then
placed, excesses are usually committed by the most fanatical section of
the suffering party, and it was so in this instance. In August 1566 a
disorderly mob took possession of the great cathedral of Antwerp, one of
the most beautiful and stately buildings in Europe, threw down all the
statues in it, broke the stained glass windows, demolished the ornaments
of every kind, and generally wrecked the interior of the edifice. Only a
few hundred men were actually engaged in the work of destruction, but
many thousands looked on with indifference, and many more with
satisfaction, accounting the decorations of the cathedral as symbols of
the terrible inquisition. This example was followed throughout the
southern provinces, and a great number of churches were treated in the
same manner as Antwerp cathedral had been. Yet there was not a single
instance of violence offered to any individual, or of plunder of any
article whatever. The gold and silver implements of the churches were
battered and made useless, but were then thrown on the floors and left.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The fury of Philippe was now thoroughly aroused, and means were
forwarded to the regent Margaret to raise a body of troops and suppress
disorder. The most powerful of the southern nobles ranged themselves on
the side of despotism. On the 13th of March 1567 a body of three
thousand Beggars who were posted near Antwerp was utterly annihilated,
and on the 23rd of the same month the ancient city of Valenciennes,
which had defied the government, was taken and reduced to submission.
The factions in Antwerp were ready to spring at each other’s throats,
but were induced by the prince of Orange to keep the peace. The regent
Margaret agreed to conditions which gave the Protestants some
protection, but her word was not to be depended upon, and much less was
that of King Philippe, who was the very incarnation of deceit and
treachery. For a few weeks now there was an appearance of calm, but it
was only the prelude to the most terrible storm that ever swept over any
portion of modern Europe.

Ten thousand veteran Spanish troops, the most highly disciplined and
best armed soldiers in the world, were sent by Philippe as the nucleus
of a powerful army to subjugate the Netherlands. At their head was the
bloodthirsty duke of Alva, then sixty years of age, whose life had been
spent in war, and who was the most skilful strategist of his day. Alva!
what a curse rests upon his name in all countries where men set a value
upon justice and freedom! As pitiless as Tshaka in South Africa, as
treacherous as Dingan, he stands out in the history of the Netherlands
as a cold-blooded murderer, a malignant fiend in human form. His
commission as the king’s captain-general was issued on the 31st of
January 1567, and his instructions were in keeping with his disposition
and character.

The nucleus or advance guard of the army was assembled in Italy, and
marched by way of Mont Cenis and through Savoy, Burgundy, and Lorraine
to Thionville, then a town of the Netherlands, now included in France.
In August 1567 it crossed the border, and continued its march to
Brussels, meeting with no opposition on the way. Alva at once placed
garrisons in the principal towns, and commenced the erection of
fortresses to overawe them, the principal of which was the famous
citadel of Antwerp. He sent letters to the different cities, signed by
the king, commanding them to render absolute obedience to him. The next
step was the arrest and close confinement of as many of the nobles as he
could get hold of who had at any time opposed any arbitrary act of the
sovereign. The counts Egmont and Hoorn were entrapped by letters to them
from the king, praising their conduct and declaring his confidence in
them. Conscious of having done no wrong, and lulled into a feeling of
security by these assurances from Philippe, they placed themselves in
the power of Alva, and found themselves his prisoners.

[Sidenote: Proceedings of the Duke of Alva.]

Then was established that murderous mockery of a tribunal, known as the
Council of Blood. It was composed of a number of creatures of Alva, some
of whom were Flemish nobles of the worst type ready to pour out the
blood of their countrymen at his bidding, others Spaniards of the same
character. It dispensed with legal formalities, and made nought of
charters and privileges. The whole population of the Netherlands was at
its mercy. Its agents sent in lists of names, and with hardly a pretence
of examination, men, scores of men at a time, were sentenced to
confiscation of all their property and death on the scaffold. This
infamous Council of Blood met for the first time on the 20th of
September 1567 in an apartment of Alva’s residence in Brussels. His
intention was to crush out all opposition to absolutism, to exterminate
all adherents of the reformed religion, and to raise a large revenue by
confiscation of property.

Everyone who valued freedom and could flee from the provinces did so now
without delay. The neighbouring German states were crowded with
refugees, and in many Flemish and Dutch towns industry entirely ceased,
for artisans and mechanics had abandoned them in despair. It is highly
probable that the larger number of those so-called Germans who settled
in South Africa in later years were really descendants of Netherlanders
who left their fatherland at this time.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Margaret of Parma was nominally regent still, but on the 9th of December
1567 she resigned, and the monster Alva became governor-general of the

The prince of Orange, his brothers Louis and Adolf of Nassau, Count
Hoogstraaten, and several other nobles of less note had retired into
Germany before the arrival of the Spanish troops. Alva confiscated their
property in the Netherlands, but they had possessions beyond the border
which he could not reach. They had been faithful subjects of Philippe to
this time, though they had striven by peaceful means to preserve the
constitutions of the provinces, but now they could not look calmly on
while the very life was being trampled out of their country. In April
1568 Orange engaged troops in Germany, and sent three small armies into
the Netherlands in hope that the people would rise in a body and assist
to drive the Spaniards out. But he was disappointed. The people were for
the moment completely cowed. Two of his armies were utterly annihilated
by the disciplined Spanish troops, and though the third, commanded by
his brother Louis, gained a victory at Heiligerlee, near Winschoten, in
the province of Groningen, it led to no substantial result. Count Adolf
of Nassau fell in this battle. So the war for freedom began, a war that
was carried on without intermission for forty-one years.

Alva with an overpowering force marched against Count Louis, and on the
21st of July 1568 attacked him at Jemmingen, a village on the left bank
of the Ems near its entrance into the Dollart, within the German border.
It was not so much a battle as a slaughter that followed. Of ten
thousand men under his command, the count lost seven thousand slain, and
with difficulty made his escape from the disastrous field while the
remainder were scattering in every direction. Alva then proceeded to
Utrecht, where he reviewed an army of thirty thousand infantry and seven
thousand cavalry, a force that he believed sufficient to overawe the
whole of the northern provinces.

[Sidenote: Successes of Alva.]

Early in October the prince of Orange invaded Brabant from Germany with
thirty thousand men, of whom nine thousand were cavalry. Many of these
were undisciplined refugees, but some were trained German soldiers.
Several smaller bands joined the prince subsequently, though not a city
opened its gates to him, so great was the terror that Alva inspired. The
difficulty of providing food for such a number of men for any length of
time was insurmountable, and the Spanish general therefore did not
choose to risk an engagement, but watched his opponent closely. On one
occasion, on the 20th of October, he was able to cut off a rearguard of
three thousand men under Count Hoogstraaten, and nearly exterminated
them. Hoogstraaten himself escaped, but died of a wound a few days
afterwards. The prince of Orange, disappointed in his expectation of a
general rising, and without a single stronghold as a base of operations,
was obliged to retreat to Germany and disband his troops. He had spent
all the money he could raise, and was heavily in debt. Nothing could
have been gloomier than the prospect then before him, but he still
cherished hope and trusted in God. He had passed through different
stages of religious belief, but did not openly join the Calvinist church
until October 1573.

The first campaign in the war of freedom had thus terminated entirely in
favour of the Spaniards.

On the 5th of June of this year 1568 an event took place which more than
all the blood of humble citizens that had been shed drew the attention
of civilised Europe to what was transpiring in the Netherlands. This was
the death on the scaffold in the great square of Brussels of the counts
Egmont and Hoorn, who had been condemned by the Council of Blood for
having been somewhat dilatory in upholding despotism. They were both
earnest Catholics, and Egmont in particular had rendered great services
to the king. He was the general who had won the victories of Saint
Quentin and Gravelines. But the death of these prominent noblemen was
resolved upon by Philippe, because it would strike terror into all
classes, and would prove that the least hesitation to carry out any of
his wishes would meet with the most terrible punishment. All their
possessions were confiscated. Their death had no effect upon the
patriotic cause, except for the horror which it created abroad, as they
were not the men to throw in their lot with William of Orange in
resistance to tyranny.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The baron Montigny, brother of Count Hoorn, had been sent with the
marquis Berghen to Madrid in May 1566 by the regent Margaret of Parma to
represent to Philippe the ruin which the inquisition was bringing upon
the Netherlands and the difficulty caused by it to her administration.
They were instructed to suggest its abolition and the modification of
the king’s edicts. Both of these noblemen were devout Catholics, and
were most faithful subjects of their sovereign. They might have reasoned
that if his sister and representative was compelled by force of
circumstances to pause in the deadly work, they could not be blamed for
acting under her instructions. The king received them apparently in a
friendly manner. But they were not permitted to return, and after a time
were placed in confinement. Berghen died, it was reported of home
sickness, but many believed by violent means. Montigny was kept a
prisoner more than four years, was then in his absence condemned to
death by the Council of Blood for favouring heresy, and on the 16th of
October 1570 was strangled privately by order of the king.

An awful calamity, but not by the hand of man, overtook the Northern
Netherlands in the year 1570. In a gale of tremendous violence on the
first and second of November of this year the sea was driven high upon
the coast, the dykes burst in many places, and the waters poured over
the land. Fully a hundred thousand persons were drowned, and property to
an immense amount was destroyed.

[Sidenote: Imposition of Heavy Taxes.]

And now came another trouble. Alva had been disappointed in his
expectations of an abundant revenue from the confiscation of property,
for much as he gathered by that means, the cost of maintenance of his
army and the charges of his administration were so enormous that his
treasury was always empty, and creditors had become clamorous. To remedy
this defect, he imposed taxes of one per cent of the value of all
property in the country, to be paid only once, of five per cent transfer
duty on all land and houses sold thereafter, and of ten per cent on
every movable article that should be sold. This last tax was regarded by
the people as equivalent to a prohibition to carry on trade of any kind,
it affected every one, and in many of the towns the shops as well as the
wholesale stores, even the breweries, the butcheries, and the bakeries
were closed. The streets swarmed with mendicants, and riots were only
suppressed by military force. If he had tried to compel the people to
take part with William of Orange, the governor-general could not have
devised a more efficient plan.



[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Many of the men who had been obliged to leave their homes had turned to
the sea for refuge. Legitimate commerce could not absorb them all, even
if it had been flourishing as formerly, and so in their desperate
condition they became buccaneers. The prince of Orange took advantage of
this, and issued a commission to a reckless fugitive noble named William
de la Marck to act as his admiral and attack Spanish ships wherever he
could find them. De la Marck was a distant relative of Egmont, and had
sworn not to clip his hair or beard till he had avenged the count’s
death. In March 1572 he was lying at anchor at Dover with a fleet of
twenty-four vessels, when by order of Queen Elizabeth all supplies of
provisions were refused to him. He was then compelled to do something
desperate at once, or starve, so he resolved to sail to Enkhuizen, and
try to get possession of that port. The wind failed him, however, so on
the 1st of April he put into the Maas and anchored in front of Brill
(Brielle), a walled and fortified town on the island of Voorne. The
Spanish garrison had just been sent to Utrecht. The Sea Beggars were
only a few hundred in number, but Pieter Koppelstok, who was sent by De
la Marck to demand the surrender of the town, when questioned as to
their strength replied about five thousand. The authorities and
adherents of the government fled in fear, and the half-famished rovers
battered in the gates and took possession of the place. This was the
beginning of the second campaign against the Spaniards.

It could not be expected that the Sea Beggars, after their wrongs and
their sufferings, would act very gently with their opponents, but the
ferocity which they displayed on this occasion cannot be excused or
passed lightly over. They broke all the altars, statues, and ornaments
in the churches, dressed themselves in clerical robes, and barbarously
put to death thirteen priests and monks who had not been able to make
their escape. A Spanish force was sent from Utrecht to recover Brill,
but was beaten off with considerable loss. De la Marck was then of
opinion that the place should be abandoned, but Captain Treslong, whose
father had once been governor of the town, induced him to continue to
hold it and to rally the patriots around him there, who quickly came in
and joined him.

[Sidenote: Successes of the Sea Beggars.]

As soon as intelligence of the repulse of the Spaniards from Brill
reached Flushing (Vlissingen), that important town declared for the
prince of Orange, and sent to De la Marck to beg for assistance. Two
hundred Sea Beggars, all in clerical garments, were thereupon forwarded
in three vessels, and quickly reached their destination. Here also an
act of inexcusable barbarity took place. The engineer who had
constructed the citadel of Antwerp, Pacheco by name, had just arrived in
Flushing to erect a fortress there. He was seized and at once hanged
with two other Spanish officers. With the town half the island of
Walcheren went over to the patriot cause, and very shortly a strong
force of Beggars, aided by some French soldiers and English volunteers,
assembled there to protect it.

The example thus set was speedily followed by most of the towns that
were not overawed by powerful Spanish garrisons in the provinces of
Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Overyssel, and Friesland.
Amsterdam, Middelburg, Goes, Arnemuide, Utrecht, and a few others were
too strongly garrisoned to be able to rise. In some of the towns the
change was made without bloodshed, in others the most barbarous
cruelties were practised on both sides, for passion had taken the place
of reason and charity. The revolted towns declared that they remained
faithful to King Philippe as count of Holland, etc., that the ancient
charters conferring rights and privileges were restored, that there was
perfect freedom for both the Roman Catholic and Reformed religions, that
they accepted the prince of Orange as stadholder for the sovereign of
the provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, and Friesland, and that they
repudiated the duke of Alva, the inquisition, and the tax on commerce.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Other successes awaited the patriot cause. On the 24th of May 1572 Count
Louis of Nassau with a small band obtained possession of the important
town of Mons in Hainaut. And on the 10th of June a richly laden Spanish
fleet from Lisbon arrived at Flushing and cast anchor, being unaware of
what had occurred there. Most of the ships were captured, a thousand
Spanish soldiers on board were made prisoners, five hundred thousand
crowns of gold sent by Philippe for his army chest and a large quantity
of ammunition became prize to the Beggars, and much spice and other
valuable merchandise was secured.

On the 15th of July the estates of Holland, consisting of the nobles and
deputies from eight cities, met at Dordrecht. The prince of Orange was
in Germany, where he had engaged an army of fifteen thousand infantry
and seven thousand cavalry, besides three thousand refugee Walloons. The
estates adopted measures for raising all the money that they could to
pay these troops for three months, and Orange then entered the southern
provinces. His first object was to relieve Mons, which was besieged by a
strong Spanish army, and to effect a junction with Admiral Coligny, who
with the approval of the king of France was to aid him with ten thousand
Huguenots. After crossing the border, town after town opened its gates
to him, and received the garrisons he placed in them. Everything looked
bright before him, when suddenly, without the slightest warning, a
thunderbolt fell which utterly destroyed his hopes and those of the
patriot party.

A contingent of Huguenots was cut to pieces when attempting to enter
Mons, but the main body under Coligny was believed to be ready to
advance, when tidings were received of the fearful Massacre of Saint
Bartholomew on the 24th, 25th, and 26th of August 1572. The treacherous
Charles IX of France, by an act of savage cruelty without parallel in a
Christian state, had betrayed the cause it was his interest to favour,
and had murdered a hundred thousand of his Protestant subjects. Admiral
Coligny was among the victims. Orange realised at once that his cause
was shattered, his German troops had not been fully paid, and were
almost mutinous, so he was obliged to retire and disband them. The towns
that had welcomed him now hastened to disown him, and returned to their
obedience to Alva. On the 20th of September Mons capitulated on
honourable terms, which were not, however, faithfully observed by the
conquerors, and all the southern provinces were again under the Spanish

[Sidenote: Sack of Mechlin.]

Alva had reinforced his army very largely with German mercenaries, the
same class of men that Orange had raised his forces from, and he had
enlisted a great many Walloons. He was without money to pay either them
or his Spanish veterans. He gave them instead the city of Mechlin to
plunder for three days, the Spaniards to have it for the first day, the
Germans for the second, and the Walloons for the third. Mechlin was
almost entirely a Catholic city, but it had welcomed the prince of
Orange, and had received a garrison from him. This was to be its
punishment by Alva. The horrors of the sack of the doomed city cannot be
fully told, but they can be imagined. The Spaniards knew that the
richest spoil would be found in the churches, and they resolved not to
leave it for others. In their lust for spoil the churches, the
monasteries, and the convents of Mechlin were treated by these Catholics
as the cathedral of Antwerp had been by the fanatic Protestants. Then
the citizens were tortured and murdered, and nameless horrors were
perpetrated upon females, until the first day ended. On the second day
the Germans, and on the third the debased Walloons, followed in the sack
of Mechlin, leaving it desolate, plundered, and utterly forlorn. Such
was Alva’s punishment of a disobedient city.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The tide of fortune was now setting as strong against the patriot cause
as it had been in its favour during the earlier months of the year. On
the 26th of August the Beggars laid siege to Goes in Zeeland, which was
defended by a Spanish garrison, but must have fallen if it had not been
relieved on the 21st of October by an army that had made a wonderful
march through shallow water. The besiegers were then obliged to flee,
but they were pursued, and their rearguard was completely destroyed.

Alva now sent a strong army under his son Don Frederic de Toledo to
reduce the northern provinces to subjection. Don Frederic directed his
march to Gelderland, where the town of Zutphen attempted to resist him.
It was easily taken, however, when all its adult male inhabitants were
put to the sword, and most of its buildings were destroyed by fire. The
whole of the provinces east and south of the Zuider Zee now submitted to
Alva, only Holland and Zeeland still holding out, and even of these the
largest towns--Amsterdam and Middelburg--were occupied by Spanish
garrisons. There was no national army in existence, and each town was
politically isolated from all the others, a condition of things which
made defence extremely difficult.

Don Frederic now marched towards North Holland, meeting no opposition
until he reached the little town of Naarden, on the shore of the Zuider
Zee, south-east of Amsterdam. Naarden offered a feeble resistance, but
on a verbal promise from General Julian Romero that life and property
would be spared, it surrendered. Every man in the place and nearly every
woman was put to death, and the little town was set on fire and razed to
the ground.

A more memorable siege than any which had yet taken place was that of
the town of Haarlem. On the 11th of December 1572 Haarlem was
beleaguered by an army of thirty thousand Spaniards, Germans, and
Walloons, commanded by Don Frederic de Toledo. The duke of Alva had his
headquarters in the neighbouring city of Amsterdam, whence supplies of
provisions, ammunition, and whatever else was needed could be forwarded
to the camps without delay. Within the walls of the town were only four
thousand fighting men, so that the Spanish commander could reasonably
hope that a few days would suffice for its reduction. But the people of
Haarlem were stouthearted as ever were Greeks in the olden time, they
hated the Spanish yoke as that of the foul fiend, and they had made up
their minds to resist to the very last. Assault after assault was made
upon their walls, and whenever a breach was effected the enemy came
storming upon it, but only to be beaten back. In the night the breaches
were repaired, the women and children assisting in the work. A band of
three hundred women, led by the widow Kenau Hasselaer, did as much and
as splendid service fighting in the breaches and on the walls as any men
could have done. The children too did what they could by carrying powder
and food from place to place.

[Sidenote: Siege of Haarlem.]

So month after month passed away, and heroic Haarlem still held out. The
prince of Orange from Delft used almost superhuman exertions to get men
together and to throw reinforcements and provisions into the beleaguered
town, but they all failed in getting through the encircling bands. At
last food, even of the most disgusting kind, entirely failed, and when
many had died of actual starvation, those who could no longer fight from
weakness submitted on a promise of lenient treatment. It was on the 12th
of July 1573, seven months and two days after the commencement of the
siege, that Haarlem fell. The promise of lenity was kept by the plunder
of the town being commuted for a sum of money to be paid in four
instalments, so that the horrors which Mechlin had witnessed were spared
to Haarlem, but two thousand three hundred of the inhabitants were put
to death after the surrender. The besiegers had paid dearly for the
town, for they had lost no fewer than twelve thousand men in combat or
by disease in those seven months of desperate fighting.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Alkmaar, a small though important town in North Holland, was then
summoned to submit, but declined to do so. The prince of Orange had
managed to obtain eight hundred soldiers, who were sent to assist the
burghers, thirteen hundred in number, to defend it. On the 21st of
August 1573 Don Frederic de Toledo invested the town with sixteen
thousand veteran troops, and immediately began to attempt to batter down
part of the wall. On three occasions breaches were made, and storming
parties tried to effect an entrance, but were driven back by boiling
oil, tarred and burning hoops, and other missiles of the kind being
thrown upon them. The soldiers then refused to storm again, and the only
course left was to wait for famine to do its work. But some letters of
the prince of Orange fell into Don Frederic’s hands, from which he
learned that the dykes were to be cut and the land flooded, when he
resolved to raise the siege rather than risk the loss of his whole army
by drowning. On the 8th of October the people of Alkmaar had the
happiness of seeing from their walls the Spanish army with all its
appurtenances in full retreat towards Amsterdam.

Another triumph for the patriot cause followed quickly, to Alva’s
intense discomfiture. He had purchased some ships and built others at
Amsterdam, until he had a fleet of thirty men-of-war, which he equipped
in the most efficient manner known in those days. The largest carried
thirty-two cannon, and was manned by one hundred and fifty seamen,
besides having on board over two hundred veteran Spanish soldiers under
the captains Alonzo de Conquera and Fernando Lopez. She was named the
_Inquisitie_, and carried the flag of Admiral Maximilian de Henniu,
count of Bossu. This fleet was intended by Alva to command the Zuider
Zee, and was regarded by him as an invincible armada.

The Sea Beggars, to oppose this formidable armament, collected together
twenty-four vessels of inferior size, which were placed under the
command of a valiant seaman named Cornelis the son of Dirk, who was
styled admiral of North Holland.

[Sidenote: First Victory at Sea.]

Bossu plundered and laid waste some villages along the coast, but at
length the son of Dirk resolved boldly to attack him. He tried to keep
the Sea Beggars at a distance and destroy them with his artillery, while
they, who were but ill supplied with cannon or powder, were determined
to grapple with his ships and fight him hand to hand. In the first and
second days’ manœuvring they succeeded in this manner in
overmastering one of his ships, when they made the officers prisoners,
and put to death all the others on board. Then for more than a week the
weather prevented anything further being done, and both parties remained

On the 11th of October 1573 the great battle took place. The Sea Beggars
closed with their opponents, and after desperate fighting succeeded in
sinking one of Bossu’s ships and overmastering five others. They had
grappled with the _Inquisitie_ herself, when the remainder of the fleet
gave up the contest and set sail for Amsterdam, throwing their cannon
overboard to enable them to pass some shoals. Night was setting in, and
there were so many wounded in the patriot ships that it was considered
imprudent to follow the fugitives. Four small vessels were made fast to
Bossu’s ship. One was beaten off, but the other three clung to her like
leeches. She drifted on a sandbank off Hoorn, but so fierce was the
fighting that no one seemed to notice that they were no longer in
motion. Bossu in a coat of mail stood on her deck and directed the
soldiers, and the Sea Beggars scrambled up her sides and attacked like
demons. Boats put out from Hoorn bringing volunteers to aid in the
struggle, and taking the wounded ashore to be cared for. At short
intervals for twenty-eight hours the hand to hand contest lasted on the
deck of the _Inquisitie_, till only fourteen or fifteen men remained
unwounded to defend her. Bossu could hold out no longer. He surrendered
on condition that he and his officers should be honourably treated as
captives, and that the soldiers and sailors should either be exchanged
or pay only one month’s wages as ransom. The prisoners were taken to
Hoorn, and were kept as hostages, which prevented the putting to death
of many prominent patriots then in the power of the Spanish authorities.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Such was the first important battle on the sea won by the sturdy
Hollanders, and it was to be a beginning of a series of victories which
in later years shed deathless renown on them and the land they so
bravely fought for. Surnames had not then come into common use for
humble folk, and it is only as Cornelis the son of Dirk that the valiant
admiral of North Holland can be mentioned in history.

The sanguinary government of Alva in the Netherlands now drew to its
close. He had requested to be relieved, and the king was not unwilling
to try if some one else could not manage affairs better, or at least
without such constant demands upon the revenue of Spain. On the 17th of
November 1573 his successor Don Luis de Requesens y Cuniga, Grand
Commander of St. Iago, and recently governor of Milan, arrived in
Brussels, and on the 29th of the same month assumed duty as governor and
captain-general of the Netherlands.

The complete absence of honour or principle in Alva was illustrated by
the manner in which he left Amsterdam. He was heavily in debt in that
city both privately and for the government, so he called for all
accounts to be sent in on a certain day, and during the preceding night
departed stealthily. On the 18th of December he left the Netherlands,
taking with him the curses of the unhappy people. It was reported,
though perhaps incorrectly, that he boasted of having caused through his
infamous Council of Blood eighteen thousand six hundred people to lose
their lives at the stake or on the scaffold during the six years of his
administration.[23] No wonder that successive generations of
Netherlanders taught their children to regard him, not as a man, but as
an absolute devil in human form, the incarnation of all that was false,
and treacherous, and cruel.

[Sidenote: Philippe’s Conditions of Peace.]

The condition of affairs in the Netherlands when the Grand Commander
Requesens assumed the administration was about as bad as well could be.
Only parts of the provinces of Holland and Zeeland were in open revolt,
but everywhere the country was seething with discontent. There was a
standing army of sixty-two thousand men--Spaniards, German mercenaries,
and Walloons--engaged in suppressing the disposition to rise in arms,
£1,300,000 was due to them as arrears of pay, the cost of maintaining
them was £120,000 a month, and there was not a single sixpence in the
treasury. Already £8,000,000 had been received from Spain, and had been
spent to no purpose. So many soldiers were needed to garrison the towns
that only a sufficient number could be spared to besiege Leyden, none
were available to reduce any of the other revolted towns or even to
relieve Middelburg, which was beleaguered by the patriots. The mighty
Spanish empire, with the gold and silver of America at its disposal,
with some of the fairest provinces of Italy at its command, was held at
bay by parts of two little provinces, under the direction of William
prince of Orange.

Under these circumstances the king spoke of his willingness to bring
about a reconciliation of the people to his rule and to pardon them for
their past resistance, but he laid down two indispensable conditions;
that they should admit his absolute authority, and that they should
return to the Roman Catholic faith.

The patriots too were desirous of putting an end to the long and bitter
strife, but they also claimed conditions which they could not forego:
the recognition of constitutional rights, entire freedom of conscience,
and the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the country. The two
positions were irreconcilable, and so the war went on. Holland and
Zeeland now contained very few Catholics, for Alva had made the religion
that he professed almost as hateful as he was himself.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Middelburg, the principal city in the province of Zeeland, was besieged
by the patriots and such troops as the prince of Orange could engage in
his cause; but was defended with the utmost skill and bravery by the
Spanish garrison under Colonel Christopher Mondragon. Provisions,
however, were running short, and it became evident that if relief was
not speedily afforded, the place would be lost to the king. Requesens
therefore collected seventy-five ships of different sizes at Bergen op
Zoom and thirty more at Antwerp, which were laden with stores of food
and munitions of war, all the soldiers that he could engage or spare
with any degree of prudence were embarked in them, and they were
directed to drop down to Flushing, to unite there, and to succour
Middelburg. By the time they were ready the soldiers and townspeople
were in the utmost extremity of hunger.

While Requesens was thus engaged, the prince of Orange and the Sea
Beggars were not idle. A fleet was collected at Flushing, and was placed
under the command of Louis Boisot, a Zeelander of noble birth and a
brother of the governor of the town. He had the title of admiral of
Zeeland conferred upon him. Boisot did not wait to be attacked, but on
the 20th of January 1574 sailed up the Schelde to meet the larger of the
two squadrons, which was commanded by Julian Romero, and which had just
set sail when he met it. He at once grappled with his opponents, and a
desperate combat took place, which lasted two hours. One of Romero’s
vessels was sunk, another was blown up, and fifteen were captured.
Twelve hundred of his sailors and soldiers were killed fighting, or were
thrown overboard and drowned, and it would have gone hard with the
others if they had not put back to Bergen op Zoom. Requesens, standing
on a dyke at Bergen, was a spectator of the discomfiture of his fleet.
The patriots’ loss was much less than that of their enemy, but several
of the captains were killed and Boisot himself received a wound in the
face which deprived him of an eye.

[Sidenote: Great Disaster.]

The Antwerp squadron, commanded by Sancho d’Avila, had meantime arrived
off Flushing, but when intelligence of Romero’s defeat was received, it
at once put about and returned.

This event decided the fate of Middelburg. The last cat and dog in the
town had been eaten, when on the 18th of February 1574 Mondragon
capitulated on condition that his troops should be permitted to leave
with their arms and personal property, and the town gave in its adhesion
to the prince of Orange.

On both sides now great exertions were made to raise troops, the
difficulty in the way being the want of money. Men in any number could
always be had in Germany, provided the means of equipping and paying
them were forthcoming. The jealousy of Spain which pervaded the French
court enabled Louis of Nassau to obtain a considerable sum, with which
he enrolled an army of three thousand cavalry and six thousand infantry,
and entered the province of Limburg. His intention was to take
possession of Maastricht, and then to effect a junction with his brother
the prince of Orange, who had collected six thousand infantry at the
isle of Bommel.

But a terrible disaster overtook Count Louis. Requesens was able to
engage some Germans, and he drew every man that was available from the
Netherlands garrisons. Even the siege of Leyden was raised, and the
troops that had beleaguered that city since the 31st of October 1573
broke up their camps an the 21st of March 1574, and joined the main
army. The garrison of Maastricht was strengthened, and the way was
blocked by which the junction of the two forces in the service of
Orange could be effected. The cavalry of Count Louis began to desert,
and soon that arm of his force was reduced to two thousand men. On the
14th of April 1574 a battle was fought at a little village named
Mookerheyde, on the bank of the Maas, in which the army of Count Louis
was utterly defeated, and it was annihilated by a massacre after the
engagement was over. Both Count Louis and his younger brother Count
Hendrik perished, no one knew exactly when or how, for their bodies were
never seen again.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Requesens, however, was unable to gather the full harvest of the
victory, for the day after the battle the Spanish troops mutinied. Their
pay was three years in arrear. They marched to Antwerp, which city they
took possession of on the 26th of April, and quartered themselves on the
wealthiest inhabitants. There they remained until the municipal
authorities provided Requesens with money to pay them their arrears,
when he granted them a full amnesty, and they returned to obedience.
Just as this was effected Admiral Boisot made his appearance at Antwerp,
and burned or sank fourteen ships of Sancho d’Avila’s squadron that had
returned from Flushing three months before.

Requesens was now able to resume the siege of Leyden, and on the 26th of
May 1574 the second investment was commenced by General Francisco Valdez
with eight thousand German and Walloon soldiers. Spanish and Italian
troops afterwards arrived, and a chain of forts was completed right
round the walls, which prevented ingress or egress. The villages in the
neighbourhood were also occupied, and Leyden was completely isolated
from the rest of the country. The residents knew that if the city was
taken, the whole of Holland must fall, and they had resolved to die
rather than surrender. There was no possibility of raising an army to
relieve them.

The prince of Orange took up his headquarters at Delft, and bent all his
energy to save the devoted city in the only way in which it could be
done. He got together more than two hundred flat-bottomed vessels, the
largest drawing when laden not more than two feet of water, armed some
of them with such cannons as were then in use, and provided all of them
with oars for rowing. The relief of Leyden was to be entrusted to the
Sea Beggars, the men who knew no fear, who hated the Spaniards with such
a deadly loathing that they would neither ask nor give quarter. On the
1st of September Admiral Louis Boisot arrived from Flushing to take
command of the flotilla, and with him came forty officers and eight
hundred of the hardiest and roughest of the Zeeland Beggars, burning
with a desire to harpoon Spanish soldiers as if they were devil-fish.
Already two thousand four hundred men, mostly sailors or canal workers,
but a few French and German soldiers with even a sprinkling of
Englishmen and Scotchmen, were on board, and a large quantity of
provisions had been shipped. With Boisot’s arrival all was complete.

[Sidenote: Siege of Leyden.]

The outer dyke was now cut, and the sea rushed over the land, sweeping
away farmhouses and cultivated fields and rich meadows, but opening a
way towards Leyden. On went Boisot with the flotilla till the next of
the dykes which lay between him and Leyden was reached. He had expected
to find it defended, but the Spaniards had neglected it, and so it was
cut and he went farther on. The next dyke was held by the Spaniards, but
the fierce Zeelanders drove them from it and harpooned them to their
hearts’ content.

Meantime the heroic defenders of Leyden were in the very last stage of
distress. Everything that under ordinary circumstances would be
considered eatable had been consumed, and nothing remained but dried
hides, rats, mice, the leaves of the trees, and the weeds of the ground.
They were dying of hunger, and pestilence arising from want of food
carried off from six to seven thousand of them. But still they held out.
A few indeed in their despair upbraided the burgomaster Van der Werf
with consigning them to death, but when he replied that he would never
surrender Leyden, though they might cut him to pieces and eat him if
they chose, they desisted and even applauded him.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The flotilla was aground, and a strong easterly wind was blowing, which
drove the waters back and day after day caused Boisot and his gallant
followers almost to abandon hope of success. A great and apparently
impregnable fortress was in front of them, and it would have to be
passed before the starving city could be reached. Then in man’s deepest
extremity came God’s hand to aid the cause of freedom. During the night
of the 1st of October a violent gale set in from the north-west, which
drove gigantic waves along the coast of Holland, then the wind veered
round to the south-west and sent the heaped up water through the broken
dykes, and soon the flotilla was free again. Valdez was a brave soldier,
but he felt unequal to a contest with the rising flood and the Sea
Beggars on their own element. During the night of the 2nd of October he
abandoned his camps, withdrew the garrison from the great fort Lemmen,
and fled in the darkness. That same night part of the city wall fell
down with a crash, which would have given him an entrance had it
happened a few hours sooner.

In the early morning of the 3rd of October 1574 Boisot, finding all
impediments removed, swept with his flotilla into the canals of Leyden,
and the city after its great agony was saved. He had lost only forty men
in this marvellous feat, surely one of the most wonderful events
recorded in history, while of his enemy over a thousand were slain or
drowned. Property to the value of over a million gulden--£83,333--had
been destroyed by cutting the dykes, but what was that compared with the
rescue of Leyden from the Spaniards!

The relief of Leyden gave renewed hope to the patriot cause. On the 12th
of November 1574 the estates of Holland, assembled at Delft, conferred
almost dictatorial power upon the prince of Orange, and voted him as
large a sum of money as they could raise to carry on the war. That
amount was only £45,000 a year, but it was a very considerable sum for
one small province to contribute, especially when it is considered that
the cities of Amsterdam and Haarlem were in the hands of the Spaniards,
and Leyden, with the territory adjoining it, was too impoverished to
give any aid. On the 4th of June 1575 the province of Zeeland united
with Holland in a kind of loose confederation, the principal bond being
that the prince of Orange was the head of both.

[Sidenote: Siege of Zierikzee.]

An attempt to bring about a state of peace was made again, and
commissioners from both sides sat at Breda from the 3rd of March to the
13th of July 1575; but as Philippe would only allow those of the
reformed religion to sell their property and leave the country, the
negotiations came to nothing. Bigotry and intolerance were not confined
to one side, however. Some revolting cruelties practised by Diederik
Sonoy, governor of North Holland, upon Roman Catholics at Alkmaar,
equalled, if they did not surpass, the most fiendish tortures of the
inquisition. The prince of Orange did everything in his power to
suppress such barbarities, while Philippe countenanced them: otherwise
one party was as vindictive as the other.

On the 19th of July 1575 the little town of Oudewater in South Holland,
close to the border of Utrecht, was besieged by a Spanish force, and was
taken by assault on the 7th of August. The men were all butchered, the
women met with a worse fate, and the houses, after being pillaged, were
burned to the ground.

The memorable siege of Zierikzee, the principal town on the island of
Schouwen, in Zeeland, followed. The island of Tholen was the only part
of Zeeland held by the Spaniards, and there a force of three thousand
men was got together, who during the night of the 27th of September 1575
actually waded across the channel that separates Tholen from Duiveland.
There were some French, English, and Scotch troops in the service of
Orange at Duiveland, but they retreated at once, and threw themselves
into Zierikzee. The invaders, consisting of Spanish, German, and Walloon
soldiers, followed quickly, and laid siege to the town. The villages of
Brouwershaven and Bommenede on the same island of Schouwen were also
attacked, and for a time were wiped out of existence. Then the whole
force, under Colonel Mondragon, sat down and pressed the siege of

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Requesens had no money with which to raise more troops, and Orange was
in the same position, so the siege dragged on month after month. On the
15th of June 1576 Admiral Louis Boisot with a few ships tried to force a
passage through a barrier into the harbour, but his own vessel, that was
leading the way, ran aground, and the others drew off. The ship was got
afloat again, but was sunk by a Spanish battery, when three hundred of
her crew went down.[24] The admiral and the remainder of the crew jumped
overboard, and tried to escape by swimming. Some of them succeeded in
doing so, but the gallant Boisot, to the great loss of the patriot
cause, was drowned. Zierikzee held out until the 21st of June 1576, when
it capitulated on honourable terms, and escaped being sacked and burned
by the payment of a ransom of £16,666. The Spaniards did not long remain
in possession of it.

To the prince of Orange it had now become apparent that the only chance
of securing constitutional government and freedom of conscience was the
renunciation of Philippe and the choice of some other sovereign able to
protect the country. The farce of fighting against the count of Holland
and at the same time of transacting all business in his name could no
longer be carried on. On the 1st of October 1575 the estates of Holland
and Zeeland met at Rotterdam, when the prince laid a proposal to this
effect before them. They adjourned for a few days in order to consult
the cities, and then assembled again at Delft and unanimously adopted
the prince’s proposal. Then commenced a long series of negotiations with
Elizabeth of England and a brother of the king of France, but all
failed, because it was generally believed that if either accepted, he or
she would at once have the other, combined with Spain, as an enemy. So
the struggle had to be carried on unaided, except with a little secret
assistance given now and then.

[Sidenote: Mutiny of the Spanish Troops.]

On the 5th of March 1576 the Grand Commander Requesens died after only
four days’ illness, and the Council of State, a weak and vacillating
body, assumed the administration until a successor should be appointed.
This Council was at the head of affairs when a fresh disaster fell upon
the country.

Immediately after the fall of Zierikzee the Spanish and Walloon troops
who had so long been investing that town broke out in open mutiny. They
demanded their arrear pay, and when this was not forthcoming they
deposed their officers, elected others, and levied contributions upon
the country just as a band of avowed robbers would do. From Zeeland they
marched into Brabant, where they took possession of the little town of
Herenthals, and after consuming everything there, directed their
devastating course southward to the environs of Brussels. The
inhabitants of the capital were in great alarm, but they prepared for
defence with such spirit that the mutineers did not attack them. They
seized instead the little town of Assche close by, and next the larger
town of Alost. Here they committed frightful atrocities, murdering every
one who resisted them.

On the 26th of July the mutineers were declared outlaws by the Council
of State, but this had no effect upon them, and now the garrisons of
other towns began to join hands with them. Like robber bands, which
indeed they were, they marched about, levying contributions wherever
they chose, and murdering all who opposed them. Their discipline was so
perfect that in every encounter with parties of citizens, however large,
they came off victorious.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The city of Antwerp, with a population of two hundred thousand souls,
was the commercial metropolis of Europe. It was adorned with beautiful
buildings, among which the cathedral and the townhouse were considered
as rivalling the most stately structures in Christendom. The citadel
built by Alva was an impregnable fortress, and at this time the renowned
Sancho d’Avila was in command of it. He sided with the mutineers, and
became their head, but his troops, who were partly German mercenaries,
were divided in opinion, and one strong regiment remained faithful. Upon
this wealthy and beautiful city the mutineers now cast their eyes. The
Council of State collected as many soldiers as could be obtained, and
five thousand infantry and twelve hundred cavalry, mostly Walloons, were
sent to aid in the defence.

In the morning of Sunday the 4th of November 1576 the Spanish troops
from various quarters arrived at Antwerp, and stormed a barricade which
the citizens had hastily thrown up. The Walloons, who had been sent to
aid in the defence, fled almost without attempting to resist, and upon
the citizens and the faithful German regiment devolved the almost
impossible task of protecting the city. They fought splendidly, but
could not hold their ground. Driven from the streets they took refuge in
houses, which were at once set on fire by the Spaniards, and presently a
vast conflagration raged in the fairest part of the city. The
magnificent town house was reduced to bare and blackened walls. When
night fell resistance had ceased, and the Spanish fiends were in
possession of Antwerp. Throughout Monday and Tuesday the work of pillage
was carried on, when those who were suspected of having concealed money
or valuables were tortured till they died or produced the treasure, all
kinds of horrors were perpetrated, Catholic priest and Protestant maid
were treated alike with brutal ferocity, and every restraint was set
aside. In those three days of horrors eight thousand people perished,
property to the value of half a million pounds sterling was destroyed by
fire, and at least as much more was taken possession of by the Spanish
demons. The event was ever afterwards known as the Spanish Fury of
Antwerp. The soldiers of Philippe had obtained their arrears, and
thereafter returned to obedience.

[Sidenote: The Pacification of Ghent.]

The conduct of the mutinous Spanish troops had the effect of drawing the
different provinces together more closely than ever before. By advice of
the prince of Orange, deputies were appointed by a number of the estates
and cities, who met with the representatives of Holland and Zeeland, and
debated upon what had best be done. They soon arrived at a decision, and
on the 8th of November 1576 the important arrangement thereafter known
as the Pacification of Ghent was signed by Holland and Zeeland on one
side, and by the representatives of the provinces of Brabant, Flanders,
Artois, Hainaut, and eight cities, of which Utrecht was one, on the
other. It provided for a close and faithful friendship between them all,
for the expulsion of the Spanish forces from the Netherlands, for an
assemblage of the estates-general of all the provinces as soon as the
foreigners were out of the country, for the suppression of persecution
for religion and the suspension of all edicts relating to this subject,
and for the abstention by Holland and Zeeland of interference with the
Roman Catholic religion in the other fifteen provinces. Throughout the
whole country this arrangement was received with acclamation, and the
seventeen provinces, without in any degree becoming amalgamated into
one, were yet united for the purpose of expelling the foreign troops,
and to that extent were all in rebellion against the king of Spain. The
prince of Orange was the soul of this movement, though he remained only
stadholder of Holland and Zeeland.

Another actor appeared at this time on the scene. This was Don John of
Austria, a natural son of the emperor Charles V, who had been appointed
by Philippe governor-general of the Netherlands. Don John, though still
a young man, had acquired great renown as a commander in war, having
crushed the revolt of the Moors in Granada and destroyed the Turkish
fleet in the famous battle of Lepanto. He arrived at Luxemburg
unattended by troops on the 3rd of November 1576, and learning there
what was taking place in the provinces, he sent to Brussels to demand
hostages for his personal safety before he proceeded farther. He had
been instructed by the king to conciliate the Netherlands, and was at
liberty to make any concessions, provided the absolute authority of the
crown and the exclusive practice of the Roman Catholic worship should be
strictly conformed to.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

By advice of the prince of Orange, the representatives then at Brussels
resolved to demand conditions from Don John before they should
acknowledge him as governor. These were the immediate departure of all
foreign troops from the country, an oath to maintain all the rights and
privileges of the provinces and towns, the appointment of a new council
of state by the estates-general, the right of the estates-general to
meet whenever they chose, and to regulate all affairs, the demolition of
the citadels that had been built to overawe the towns, and the
maintenance of the Pacification of Ghent. A deputation was sent to
Luxemburg with these demands, which were presented to Don John on the
6th of December. No decision was arrived at then, and negotiations were
continued for months thereafter, though the conditions laid down by the
king and those of the estates seemed to be irreconcilable.

Early in January 1577 another document, termed the Union of Brussels,
came into existence. It was a compact to expel the Spaniards immediately
and to uphold the Pacification of Ghent, to maintain the Catholic as the
state religion in the fifteen provinces not under the government of
Orange, to acknowledge the king’s authority as a constitutional
sovereign, and to defend the various charters. This document was
generally signed by people of every class throughout all the provinces
except Luxemburg. It marks another stage in the struggle between
despotism and liberty.

[Sidenote: The Perpetual Edict.]

Towards the close of this month Don John removed from Luxemburg to the
little town of Huy, on the right bank of the Maas, in the province of
Liege, hoping that by placing himself thus chivalrously in the power of
the people he would command their respect. At the same time it must not
be forgotten that there was a party of considerable strength in the
southern provinces, consisting of the nobles and their adherents, who
were as much opposed to popular liberty as Philippe himself was, and
that Don John could rely upon them to support him.

The negotiations were now so far successful that on the 12th of February
1577 an agreement was signed by Don John, and on the 17th of the same
month received the signatures also of the authorities in Brussels. It
ratified the Pacification of Ghent, it required all foreign troops to be
sent out of the country without delay, but the estates-general were to
pay the German soldiers before leaving. All the privileges, charters,
and constitutions of the Netherlands were to be maintained, as was also
the Catholic religion. The estates were to disband the troops in their
service, and Don John was to be received as governor-general immediately
after the departure of the Spanish and Italian soldiers. This agreement
was confirmed by Philippe, and took the name of the Perpetual Edict. It
was not, however, approved by the estates of Holland and Zeeland, nor by
the prince of Orange, who put no confidence in the promises, written or
verbal, of either the king or his representatives.

Don John now moved from Huy to Louvain, near Brussels, and towards the
close of April 1577 the Spanish and Italian troops set out on their
march from the Netherlands to Lombardy. That condition having been
carried out, the governor-general entered Brussels, and on the 3rd of
May took the oaths of office, just six months after his arrival on the
frontier. There were still from ten to fifteen thousand German mercenary
soldiers in the king’s service in the country, and the southern nobles
were at his beck and call, so that the patriotic party soon had cause
for alarm.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Don John, after a residence of less than two months in Brussels, became
apprehensive for his personal safety, and fled first to Mechlin, and
then to Namur, a town at the confluence of the Sambre and the Maas, not
far from the frontier of France. There was a strong fortress in Namur,
which the governor-general got possession of by stratagem, and in which
he placed a garrison when he went to reside there. He next made an
attempt to get possession of the citadel of Antwerp, but failed, and the
German troops who occupied it fled on the approach of a fleet of the Sea
Beggars and surrendered to the estates.

On the 26th of August the estates addressed a demand to Don John, in
which they called upon him to disband all the troops in his service and
to send the German mercenaries instantly out of the country, to dismiss
every foreigner from office, whether civil or military, and to renounce
his secret alliance with the duke of Guise, the head of the Catholic
League in France. They required him to govern thenceforth only with the
advice and consent of the Council of State, to carry out whatever should
be determined on by a majority of that body, and to regard neither
measures as binding nor despatches as authentic unless decided upon or
drawn up in that Council. This was a demand for parliamentary or what is
now termed responsible government in its widest sense, and the
representative of King Philippe could not agree to it.

The inhabitants of Antwerp now rose in a body and razed to the ground
the side of the citadel which commanded the city, so that it was no
longer a menace to them. The people of Ghent also broke down their
castle, and remodelled the government of that city in a democratic
manner. The estates invited the prince of Orange to visit Brussels and
give them advice, and on the 23rd of September he made his appearance

[Sidenote: Action of Queen Elizabeth.]

Don John now retired from Namur to Luxemburg, and waited in that city
until the king should provide him with an army strong enough to conquer
the country. The estates on their part commenced to levy troops, for
negotiations had quite ceased. On the 7th of December they declared Don
John no longer governor-general, but an enemy of the Netherlands.

The prince of Orange was elected ruward of Brabant, a post which gave
him great power in that province, and his influence was enormous
throughout the whole country. By his advice a new act of union was
signed at Brussels on the 10th of December, by which the adherents of
the Roman Catholic church and the Protestants bound themselves to
respect each other and to protect one another from all enemies whatever.
But this was a step too far in advance of the times to be permanent, for
it was an age of bitter intolerance.

Queen Elizabeth of England, fearing that French influence would prevail
in the Netherlands if she did not aid the struggling country at this
critical time, resolved to give the estates some assistance. On the 7th
of January 1578 she entered into an engagement in London to endorse
their obligations to the extent of one hundred thousand pounds sterling,
and to supply five thousand infantry and one thousand cavalry, who
should, however, be paid by them. This was not regarded as making war
against Spain, because at the same time the Catholic League in France
was sending a much greater number of well trained men to assist Don John
of Austria.

While the armies on both sides were gathering, another factor, that
might have caused much confusion, was introduced. A party of nobles, in
order to thwart the prince of Orange, invited the archduke Matthias of
Hapsburg, brother of the emperor, to fill the post of governor-general.
The young man accepted the invitation, and came to the Netherlands, but
the prince of Orange and his adherents managed things so adroitly that
Matthias, though inaugurated as governor-general on the 18th of January
1578, had really no power conferred upon him, and Orange himself as
lieutenant-general retained all authority.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Both parties had by this time collected considerable forces, Don John at
Luxemburg, the estates at Namur, but the armies were very differently
composed. Philippe had sent several veteran regiments of Spaniards and
Italians, the most highly disciplined troops in the world, commanded by
Alexander Farnese, prince of Parma, and to these had been added some
well-trained French battalions, making altogether a compact army of
about twenty thousand men. The army of the estates was equal in number,
but was a motley assemblage of Germans, French, Netherlanders, English,
and Scotch.

On the 31st of January 1578 these forces met at Gemblours, fourteen
kilometres from Namur, and the result was the total annihilation of the
States army, with hardly any loss at all on Don John’s side. Seven or
eight thousand men were killed on the field, six hundred were made
prisoners and were immediately hanged or drowned, and the remainder were
dispersed. All their baggage, ammunition, weapons, and stores of every
kind fell into the hands of the victors, and the patriot cause seemed
doomed to ruin.

A great many small towns in the southern provinces were immediately
occupied by the king’s troops, terrible atrocities being perpetrated
wherever resistance was offered. Brussels, however, the seat of
government, was put in a thorough condition for defence, and the States
set about organising another army as rapidly as possible.

On the other hand, in the north, a great augmentation of the power of
the prince of Orange was taking place. Haarlem had been recovered for
the patriot cause, the province of Utrecht had accepted the prince as
stadholder, and on the 8th of February 1578 the important city of
Amsterdam was gained, so that the provinces of Holland, Zeeland, and
Utrecht were wholly animated by the same spirit. Then, on the 11th of
March the estates of Gelderland elected as governor of that province
Count John of Nassau, the only surviving brother of William of Orange,
which was almost equivalent to electing the prince himself. The Reformed
religion was making very rapid progress in Utrecht and Gelderland, but
was not yet as exclusively the faith of the people as in Holland and
Zeeland. In June of this year 1578 the second provincial synod of the
Reformed churches was held at Dordrecht, the first having met at Hoorn
in 1572, a proof how entirely the inquisition had failed to extirpate
freedom of conscience in that part of the country.

[Sidenote: Rivalry between England and France.]

The cord that bound the seventeen provinces together was so weak that it
was liable to snap at any time, and it was therefore rather to foreign
assistance than to their own unaided exertions that the leading men
looked to rescue the land from Spanish tyranny. They had appointed the
emperor’s brother Matthias their governor-general in name, but that had
not brought them the material aid which they needed. A considerable
number of the nobles were now intriguing with the worthless duke of
Anjou, brother of the king of France, leading him to believe that if he
would bring a strong army into the field they would elect him their
sovereign in place of Philippe. Even the prince of Orange favoured this
scheme, and Anjou actually invaded the country and occupied Mons with a
considerable force. The effect was that Queen Elizabeth of England, in
her jealousy of France, gave greater assistance in men and money than
before, and Anjou disbanded his troops and returned to Paris.

Don John was again helpless for want of money. Philippe had sent him
nearly £400,000 from Spain with the troops under Alexander Farnese, and
had promised him more, but the money was expended, and the promise was
unfulfilled. Without the means of procuring the material of war he could
do nothing. Then a pestilence broke out in his main army, and in a few
weeks over a thousand men died. Worn out with care and anxiety, after a
severe attack of illness, on the 1st of October 1578 Don John of Austria
expired in his camp near Namur, after appointing on his deathbed
Alexander Farnese, prince of Parma, his successor until the king’s
pleasure should be known. The temporary appointment was confirmed, and
the ablest of all of Philippe’s representatives was free to try what he
could do towards settling the great controversy between despotism and
liberty in the Netherlands.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Alexander Farnese was the only son of the duke of Parma and Piacenza and
of the regent Margaret, who preceded Alva in the administration. He was
thirty-three years of age, and had been left a widower by the decease of
his wife, a princess of Portugal. He found the country distracted with
religious feuds, in which the Protestants were as violent as the
Catholics. In Ghent the turbulence of a fanatical party was
uncontrollable even by the prince of Orange, and the destruction of
statues and ornaments in the churches was accompanied with such
atrocious treatment of the leading adherents of the ancient faith that
the Walloon provinces of the south, which were ardently Catholic, were
exasperated to the last degree. On the 6th of January 1579 an alliance
between Hainaut, Artois, and Lille with Douai and Orchies was entered
into for the defence and exclusive maintenance of the Catholic church.
The nobles in these provinces were timeservers, and Parma soon found
that they could easily be bribed by offices and money to abandon the
patriot interests. For this purpose Philippe could open his purse
widely, though he neglected to pay his soldiers.

On the 17th of May 1579 the estates of the three provinces above named
signed at Arras a formal treaty of reconciliation with the king of
Spain, and were for ever lost to the Netherlands cause. Several towns
in Brabant and Flanders shortly afterwards followed this example. The
question of religion being settled to Philippe’s satisfaction, they were
allowed to retain their charters subject to the prerogative of the

[Sidenote: The Union of Utrecht.]

On the other hand, on the 23rd of January 1579 the foundation of the
Netherlands Republic was laid by an agreement termed the Union of
Utrecht, which was proclaimed on the 29th of the same month. The union
was a loose one, for it left to each province and each city its own
constitution unaltered, and only provided for a general assembly of
deputies from the estates of the different provinces, in which each
should have the same voting power, no matter how many deputies it should
send. The object was defence against a common foe. It guaranteed to
every man liberty of conscience, but it could not secure liberty of
public worship where passion was running high, it could merely prevent
inquisition whether Catholic or Protestant. It founded a new State, but
the men who concluded it did not realise that this would be the result,
they professed that they still adhered to the agreement with the other
provinces, only making that agreement a little more binding in their own
case. No supreme head was appointed, though Orange was practically in
that position, and Matthias was not deprived of his title of
governor-general, nor was Philippe formally deposed as sovereign of the
provinces outside of Holland and Zeeland. The bishopric of Utrecht now
ceased to exist.

The Union of Utrecht was signed by Count John of Nassau for himself and
as stadholder of Gelderland, by the deputies of Holland, Zeeland, and
Utrecht, by the deputies of the province of Groningen excluding the
capital, by the deputies of Brill and the land of Voorne as a particular
district though united with Holland, and further by a minority of the
deputies of Friesland, the majority objecting to it. It was open to any
other provinces or towns to join the Union, and on the 1st of March
1580 Overyssel gave in its adhesion, but the town of Groningen did not
do so until 1595, and the complete province of Friesland not before
1598. Various nobles subsequently joined the Union, as did also the city
of Ghent on the 4th of February 1579, the city of Antwerp on the 28th of
July 1579, the city of Bruges on the 1st of February 1580, and several
others later. Each city came to be practically an independent unit in
the province in which it was situated, and could therefore make what
alliances it chose. But owing to this circumstance the government of the
Union was exceedingly weak, for no resolutions of the states-general
were binding upon any town whose deputies did not agree to them.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The provinces Holland, Zeeland, since enlarged by the addition of a
small part of Flanders, the northern part of Gelderland including the
county of Zutphen, Overyssel, Friesland, and Groningen, together with
Drenthe, cover the whole territory of the present kingdom of the
Netherlands except North Brabant and Limburg. Drenthe was a dependency
of the bishopric of Utrecht from 1024 to 1537, when it became a direct
fief to the emperor Charles V. It remained subject to the Spanish
government until 1594, when it was overrun by the States forces, and
thereafter it was a dependency of either Friesland or Groningen until
1813, when it became a separate province of the kingdom of the



[Sidenote: Continuation of the War.]

The most exciting part of the scene now changes to the town of
Maastricht, an important strategical position in the present province of
Limburg. Maastricht contained thirty-four thousand inhabitants, and
there was a garrison of a thousand soldiers within its walls. On the
12th of March 1579 Parma laid siege to the town with an army of twenty
to twenty-five thousand men, and completely enclosed it. Two or three
thousand peasants of both sexes, whose homes had been ravaged, managed
to get in before it was surrounded, and they were of great service in
the defence. The resistance was desperate, men and women fighting side
by side whenever breaches were made in the walls and the soldiers tried
to enter, as also in excavating passages by which the Spanish mines were
destroyed. The carnage on both sides was frightful. On one occasion five
hundred soldiers were hurled into the air and killed by a single
explosion of a mine. An attempt to relieve the town was made by the
prince of Orange, but it failed, for it was impossible to raise an army
strong enough for the purpose. At last, on the 29th of June, Maastricht
was taken, and then an indiscriminate massacre followed. On the first
day four thousand men and women were butchered, and their dead bodies
were flung into the streets. Three days the massacre continued, and then
the few survivors fled from their old homes and tried to find a refuge
in the country. Maastricht was depopulated, and after everything of
value had been removed, it was repeopled by strangers.

Possession of Mechlin was obtained by Parma through the treachery of its
governor De Bours, who introduced Spanish troops secretly, but six
months later it was recovered by surprise by Van der Tympel, governor of

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Another serious disaster befel the patriot cause in the far north. In
November 1579 Joris Lalain, count of Renneberg, stadholder of Groningen
and its dependency Drenthe, sold himself to Parma for office and a sum
of money. During the night of the 3rd of March 1580 he caused all the
leading men of the patriot party in the town of Groningen to be arrested
in their beds and committed to prison, and before dawn on the 4th his
adherents were in possession of the town. The States tried to recover
the place, and a small army laid siege to it, but Parma sent a stronger
force to the north, by which the patriots were almost annihilated. Then
for some time there was a series of petty operations in the Frisian
districts, in which nothing decisive was effected on either side, but
much property was destroyed, and much misery was caused.

In 1580 Philippe II added Portugal to his dominions. At the time there
was no thought that by this union the Portuguese possessions in the
eastern seas would be laid open to conquest by the Netherlands, but that
was the result. Before the close of the century the provinces within the
Union of Utrecht were destined to become the foremost sea power of the
world, and then the addition of Portugal to their foes was simply the
addition of a vast amount of valuable spoil for them to gather. Meantime
much that is interesting and instructive was to transpire in the

On the 15th of March 1580 Philippe, by advice of Cardinal Granvelle,
issued a ban declaring the prince of Orange an outlaw, and offering
twenty-five thousand crowns of gold, pardon for any crime however great,
and a title of nobility to anyone who should assassinate him. He was
regarded as the very soul of the struggle for liberty of conscience and
political freedom, as indeed he was, and if he could be got out of the
way, the king believed that the fourteen still defiant provinces would
return like Artois, Hainaut, and Lille to the Catholic church and to
perfect obedience.

[Sidenote: Election of the Duke of Anjou as Sovereign.]

This was the final grievance which led to the absolute renunciation of
the sovereignty of Philippe by the disaffected provinces. Hitherto,
though they were fighting against him, all acts of government were
carried out in his name except in Holland and Zeeland, but on the 26th
of July 1581 their estates, assembled at the Hague, formally and
solemnly abjured him. His seals were broken, and every one was absolved
from oaths of allegiance taken to him.

But there was no intention on the part of the people to change the form
of their government, what they desired was to preserve their ancient
charters, not to destroy them. The bond of union between the provinces
was that one individual had been sovereign of them all, and now that
Philippe had been abjured they must choose another in his stead, or
break into fragments. The general choice fell upon the prince of Orange,
but he emphatically refused to accept the position, because he would not
have it said that personal ambition had influenced his conduct. Holland
and Zeeland, however, would have no other, and after much hesitation he
consented to become their head temporarily. The archduke Matthias, who
was of no account, laid down his office as governor-general, and shortly
afterwards retired to Germany.

By the influence of Orange the worthless duke of Anjou was chosen
sovereign of the other twelve provinces. He was a brother of the king of
France, who promised to assist him with money and men to defend the
country against Spain. It was believed that he was about to wed Queen
Elizabeth of England, and she certainly did all that she could to favour
his election by the estates. He agreed to all the conditions required of
him, though they bound him to constitutional government as closely as
the king of England is bound to-day. He would have agreed to anything at
all, in fact, but his promise, or his signature, or his oath was of no
value whatever. Fortunately for England his insignificant person and his
repulsive features prevented the great queen from espousing him.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

He was in England when the final arrangements were made, but on the 10th
of February 1582 he arrived at Flushing with a brilliant train of
English and French noblemen. The queen had requested that he might be
treated with the same respect as herself, and so he was received with
all possible honour. On the 17th of the same month he reached Antwerp,
and was inaugurated with much ceremony as sovereign duke of Brabant. In
July he was installed at Bruges as sovereign count of Flanders, and at
the same time the estates of Gelderland formally accepted him as duke of
that province, and those of Friesland pledged him obedience as their
lord. He did not visit the other provinces in order to be installed with
ceremony, but took up his residence at Antwerp, and was generally
accepted as sovereign. To support him he had a strong French army, which
was supposed to be a movable force, while troops raised by the States
were stationed as garrisons in the towns.

The prince of Parma meantime was far from idle. Reinforcements of
Spanish and Italian troops were constantly arriving, until at the end of
August 1582 he was at the head of an army fully sixty thousand strong
and largely composed of veteran soldiers. Using the obedient provinces
of Artois and Hainaut as a base of operations, he sent out detachments
to surprise cities that were not thoroughly on their guard, and as he
had bribed many of the nobles, he was always well-informed on this
point. So he got possession among various places of Oudenarde in
Flanders on the 5th of July 1582, and a little later of Steenwyk in
Friesland, of Eindhoven in Brabant, and of Nieuwpoort in Flanders.

The duke of Anjou had sworn to maintain the constitutions of the
provinces and freedom of conscience, but the brother of the king of
France and the son of Catherine of Medici could not long bear restraint.
He wished to make himself an absolute sovereign and to suppress
Protestantism, and without reflecting what the consequence must be of
attempting to oppose Parma and the people of the Netherlands at the same
time, on the 15th of January 1583 by his order detachments of French
troops took possession of Dunkirk, Ostend, Dixmuyde, Denremonde, Alost,
and Vilvoorde, and ejected the Netherlands garrisons. A similar attempt
upon Bruges failed, as the city authorities closed the gates in time
against the French soldiers.

[Sidenote: Treachery of Anjou.]

The duke resided in Antwerp, and at Borgerhout close by there was a camp
of French troops. On the 17th of January at mid-day he rode through the
gate leading to Borgerhout, when his bodyguard attacked the burgher
watch, killed every man of them, and took possession of the archway and
the drawbridge. Six hundred cavalry and three thousand infantry from
Borgerhout then poured into the city, where they divided, and some began
to plunder. But the burghers sprang quickly to arms, the leading
sections of the French were overwhelmed, and those behind commenced to
retreat in a panic. The burghers pressed on, killed over two thousand of
the French, and made prisoners of all the others. Fewer than a hundred
burghers lost their lives on this occasion.

Anjou fled with the remainder of his troops from Borgerhout, but a dyke
was cut in his passage, and another thousand soldiers were drowned. He
succeeded, however, in escaping to a place of safety, where he collected
various scattered detachments about him, and formed a new camp. There he
entered into correspondence with Parma on one side and with the States
on the other, trying to make terms with each.

The position was one of extreme peril. Owing to the jealousy between the
provinces and the cities and to the rivalry between Catholics and
Protestants, they could not stand alone. To pursue the miscreant Anjou
any further would be to incur the hostility of France, and that would
most certainly bring ruin upon the country. Queen Elizabeth wrote
strongly urging a reconciliation with him, and that was also in the
opinion of the prince of Orange the wisest course to adopt. So an
arrangement was made with him, by which on the 28th of March 1583 he
surrendered the cities that he had seized, and the States released their
French prisoners and restored to him the plate and furniture he had left
behind in Antwerp. He was to wait at Dunkirk until some plan could be
devised by which he might be restored to the dignity he had forfeited,
but on the 28th of June he left to visit Paris, and never returned. He
died in France on the 10th of June 1584.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The treachery of Anjou was imitated by more than one of the Netherlands
nobles. On the 22nd of September 1583 the town of Zutphen in Gelderland
was betrayed to the Spaniards by Count Van den Berg, and on the 20th of
May 1584 Bruges in Flanders was given up to Parma by the prince of
Chimay, who was governor of that important city. Then Ypres in Flanders
was besieged and forced to surrender, and as in Bruges all Protestants
were expelled. Most of these took refuge in the northern provinces, so
that the line of separation between the two opposing religions was
constantly becoming more clearly defined.

At this critical time in the history of the provinces the great man
whose name will ever be associated with all that is best and noblest in
their struggle for liberty was taken from them by the pistol of an
assassin. The ban of Philippe II had at last produced the effect for
which it was designed. There had been many attempts to murder the prince
of Orange and secure the king’s reward, but hitherto all had failed. The
most serious of these took place on the 18th of March 1582, when he had
been wounded, at first it was believed mortally, but he had recovered,
though his wife died from the shock. And now, on the 10th of July 1584,
in his own house at Delft he was shot by a fanatic Burgundian Catholic
named Balthazar Gérard, who under pretence of being a Calvinist in
distress had obtained admittance to his service. The Father of his
Country, as he was deservedly called, expired almost immediately. The
murderer was seized, and died under the most excruciating tortures that
the ingenuity of man could devise, but he remained callous to the last.
The sorrowing people laid the corpse of him they had such good reason to
mourn for in the new church at Delft, and raised a stately tomb over it,
where few Dutch speaking South Africans who visit Europe fail to pay
their respects to the memory of the illustrious dead. Thus William of
Orange passed away.

[Sidenote: Murder of the Prince of Orange.]

The real murderer, Philippe the Second of Spain, rewarded the parents of
his tool with patents of nobility and with three seignories or rich
estates in Franche Comté, taken from the confiscated property of his

For a short time the country was paralysed by the death of its great
leader, but soon in the northern provinces a general resolution was
taken to prosecute the war more vigorously than ever. It now became
almost purely a strife of religion. The prince of Orange had favoured
toleration, but when he was removed the enmity between the Catholics and
the Protestants showed itself so strong that a united country was no
longer possible. It was not recognised at the time, but it can now be
seen, that the position of the dividing line was the object striven for,
and consequently the central provinces, Flanders, Brabant, Mechlin,
Gelderland, and Limburg, where the Teutons and Celts were intermixed,
were to be the principal scene of operations.

The states-general, exercising supreme power, appointed an executive
council to raise forces and carry on the war until a sovereign should be
chosen. This council consisted of eighteen members, four representing
Holland, three Zeeland, three Friesland, three Brabant, two Utrecht,
two Flanders, and one Mechlin. As its president the states-general
appointed Maurits of Nassau, second son of the murdered prince of
Orange, his eldest son Philip having long been a prisoner in Spain. It
was a clumsy instrument for carrying on a war, with a president only
seventeen years of age, and depending for funds upon the states-general,
that it was required to convoke at least twice a year; but it was the
only possible machinery that could be created at the time. The States’
movable army consisted of three thousand infantry and two thousand five
hundred cavalry, the burghers being relied upon for the defence of the

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the other side was the astute and active Parma, with a field force of
over eighteen thousand veterans, besides garrisons in all the towns he
had taken. He was provided with gold to bribe the corrupt nobles, and he
was skilful in using it. The disparity between the two parties was so
great that it was not surprising that towns of mixed population should
waver when plausible overtures were made to them, rather than risk being
attacked and treated as Maastricht had been. Dendermonde was the first
to give way. On the 17th of August 1584 it was reconciled to the Spanish
king, and lost for ever to the patriot cause. The fatal example was
followed by Vilvoorde on the 7th of September, and on the 17th of the
same month by the all-important city of Ghent. The terms of
reconciliation were that the municipal institutions were to be
respected, and that the Protestants were to be allowed two years within
which either to conform to the Catholic worship or to dispose of their
property and go into exile. This was at least much better than to be
burnt or buried alive. Emigration to Holland and Zeeland followed on a
very large scale, and before the expiration of the two years Ghent in
particular lost nearly half of its former inhabitants. Thus
Protestantism gained in the north and Catholicism in the south of the

The eyes of the great powers of Europe were now more intently fixed upon
the Netherlands than ever before, but it was difficult to assist them.
Neither Germany, France, nor England was willing to enter openly into
war with the powerful Spanish empire in order to preserve constitutional
government and Calvinistic doctrine. The states actually offered the
sovereignty of the provinces to the contemptible Henry III, who sat upon
the throne of France, if he would pledge his word to maintain their
charters and their religion, and he declined to accept the offer, though
he had every reason to be hostile to Spain. Elizabeth of England
favoured a joint protectorate of the Netherlands by France and herself,
but was naturally unwilling to see them absorbed by her neighbour, and
was not inclined to assist them alone. And so in their time of greatest
need they had only themselves to depend upon.

[Sidenote: Designs of the Prince of Parma.]

It was fortunate for the northern provinces that Parma was not receiving
reinforcements, or the whole country would soon have been overrun.
Philippe was closely engaged in fomenting civil war in France and in
planning the conquest of England, subjects which occupied his mind and
drew upon his purse to such an extent that he neglected the Netherlands
and failed to furnish money to maintain and pay even the limited number
of soldiers he had there. He was the real head of the so-called holy
league, that under the nominal leadership of the duke of Guise was in
arms to establish absolutism and extirpate Protestantism in Europe.
Parma was left mainly to his own resources, but he possessed military
and diplomatic ability of the highest order, and could do with his
slender army what ordinary generals could not have done with forces
twice as strong.

If he could obtain possession of Brussels and Antwerp the backbone of
the rebellion would be broken, he believed, and in the autumn of 1584 he
commenced operations to that end. His plan was to construct a fortified
bridge over the Schelde below Antwerp, which would prevent succour
being sent up the river from Zeeland, and thus the cities would be
starved out, for the open country was in his hands. There was one way by
which this plan could be frustrated, and that was by cutting the great
dykes and letting the sea roll over the land, but the patriots hesitated
to destroy so much property. When at last they tried to do it they were
too late, for Parma had fortified the dykes and held them with an iron
hand. During the winter of 1584-5 famine was so severe in Brussels that
people died of hunger, and on the 13th of March 1585 the city
capitulated. Mechlin held out until the 19th of July, when it too fell.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The siege of Antwerp was one of the most celebrated events in the
history of the Netherlands. The city was then much less populous than it
had formerly been, but it still contained ninety thousand inhabitants,
the most turbulent though the most energetic and industrious in Europe.
It was the most important commercial city in the country. If there had
been union of counsel and obedience to a single authority, Antwerp need
not have feared anything that Parma with his eleven or twelve thousand
soldiers could do, but all was discord and confusion within the walls.
And without was one strong clear-headed man, with a genius for war, in
command of soldiers devoted to him, a man who could construct a strong
fortified bridge seven hundred and thirty-two metres in length over a
deep tidal river in the winter season and in the face of a far superior
number of combatants, a feat deemed by most people utterly impossible
until it was accomplished. The sufferings of Antwerp were less than
those of Leyden, but on the 17th of August 1585 the city capitulated.
Life and property were to be respected, a ransom of only £33,000 was to
be paid, no other than the Roman Catholic worship was to be publicly
observed, but Protestants were allowed two years in which to dispose of
their property and leave.

Immediately a stream of emigration set out towards the north. Amsterdam
especially benefited by refugee merchants and artisans from Antwerp
settling there, and very shortly became the first commercial city of
Europe. Middelburg too and many other towns of Holland and Zeeland
received a large access of population from the fugitive Protestants of
Brabant and Flanders. The old cities immediately lost their former
importance, Antwerp sank into a small place, the citadel was rebuilt and
a foreign garrison was stationed in it, but beyond the soldiers and the
members of the Company of Jesus who were stationed there as instructors
of the young, no new residents were attracted to take the place of the
Protestants who moved away.

[Sidenote: Treaty with Queen Elizabeth.]

During the siege of Antwerp the states-general were making every effort
in their power to obtain assistance from England. Queen Elizabeth
realised the necessity of supporting the Netherlands against Philippe
II, who was her enemy as well as theirs, but she was unwilling to give
more than was absolutely necessary. She had to be on her guard against
other enemies than Spain, and she could not afford to spend money
freely. The states offered her the sovereignty of the provinces, which
she declined, and the negotiations for an alliance were so protracted
that when an agreement was finally arrived at, it was too late to save

On the 10th of August 1585 a treaty between the queen and the states was
signed, by the terms of which Elizabeth was to furnish and pay during
the war five thousand infantry and one thousand cavalry to assist in the
defence of the provinces,[25] and was to receive the town of Flushing
and the fortress of Rammekens in Zeeland and the town of Brill and two
fortresses in Holland as pledges for the payment of all expenses when
the war was over. She was to provide these places with suitable
garrisons, but was not to interfere in any way with the civil government
or the customs and privileges of the inhabitants.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The earl of Leicester was appointed lieutenant-general of the English
forces, and with a brilliant staff of nobles landed at Flushing on the
19th of December 1585. The chivalrous and virtuous Sir Philip Sidney was
placed in command of the English garrison of Flushing.

The states-general, realising that under the existing form of government
it was impossible to act with vigour against the enemy, appointed
Leicester governor and captain-general of the united provinces, and on
the 4th of February 1586 he was inaugurated at the Hague in that
capacity. On the 6th a proclamation was issued by the states,[26] giving
him “supreme command and absolute authority over all the affairs of war
by sea and land, ... the administration and direction of government and
justice over all the said united provinces, cities, and associated
members, ... and special power to levy, receive, and administer all the
contributions granted and appointed for carrying on the war.” The queen,
however, was incensed by his acceptance of such extensive power, and he
did not afterwards receive her support as freely as before. In
particular the English soldiers in the Netherlands were left without pay
or proper maintenance, and it might have gone hard with them if Parma’s
forces had not been in the same condition. Philippe, who was hastening
on the preparation of the great armada which he intended for the
invasion and conquest of England, was trying to gain time and conceal
his operations by pretending to enter into negotiations for peace, and
so nothing decisive was done on either side.

What was effected during the year 1586 was more advantageous to the
Spaniards than to the Dutch and English. In January of this year Parma
laid siege to the town of Grave, on the Brabant bank of the Maas, and
though in April the garrison was strengthened and a great quantity of
provisions thrown in by the patriots, on the 7th of June the place was
surrendered by its weak-minded commandant. On the same day Megen and
Batenburg were given up to Parma, and on the 28th of June Venlo
capitulated, when only the towns of Geertruidenberg, Heusden, Bergen op
Zoom, and Willemstad were left in Brabant to the patriot cause. All the
territory south of the lower Schelde had now been recovered by the
Spaniards except a little slip in the north of Flanders and along the
seacoast. This little slip was slightly enlarged, however, by the
seizure on the 17th of July of the fortified town of Axel by a combined
English and Dutch expedition.

[Sidenote: Death of Sir Philip Sidney.]

In Gelderland Nymegen on the Waal and Zutphen on the Yssel with some
villages in the neighbourhood of each were held by the Spaniards, and
Leicester resolved to attempt to get possession of them. On the 12th of
September after a short siege he occupied Doesburg, eight kilometres
from Zutphen, and then proceeded to beleaguer the city. Parma, with six
thousand five hundred soldiers, immediately marched to its relief, and
on the 2nd of October succeeded in forcing a way in with a great convoy
of provisions. In the action when endeavouring to prevent him from doing
so, the chivalrous Sir Philip Sidney received a wound from which he
died. Parma, after strengthening the garrison, marched to disperse some
German troops in the service of the States, and Leicester, having placed
large garrisons in Deventer, Doesburg, and a very strong fort close to
Zutphen, retired to the Hague. On the 24th of November he left the
Netherlands to return to England, but did not resign his office, thus
causing great confusion.

He had been at variance with the states-general, and had been disposed
to carry out his views with a high hand, though he was exceedingly
generous with his wealth and spent large sums of money of his own in the
service of the country. Two parties had arisen: one, that may be termed
oligarchal, favouring the existing form of town and provincial
governments and wide toleration in matters of religion; the other, that
called itself democratic, appealing to the sovereignty of the people at
large, but without explaining how that sovereignty was to be manifested,
and desiring to exclude rigidly all religious practices except those of
the Reformed church. The earl of Leicester was the head of the last
named of these parties. He left Sir John Norris in command of the
English troops in the Netherlands, and professedly delegated his own
authority to the state council, though secretly he issued commissions
that greatly impaired the power of that body and of the English general.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Soon after his departure a series of deplorable events occurred. Sir
William Stanley, who was in command of the garrison of Deventer,
betrayed that important city to Colonel Tassis, who held Zutphen for
Parma, and with an Irish regiment under his orders went over to the
service of Spain. On the same day, 29th of January 1587, Colonel Rowland
York betrayed to Tassis the great fortress close to Zutphen, of which he
was in command. The northern provinces were thus cut in two, and the
Spaniards were able to ravage large portions of Gelderland and
Overyssel. Then Wauw, a castle about four kilometres from Bergen op
Zoom, was sold to Parma by its commandant, and a little later the town
of Gelder was similarly sold by Commandant Aristotle Patton.

These acts of treachery created a strong feeling of distrust of the
whole of the English forces in the country, especially as it was known
that Queen Elizabeth was extremely desirous of concluding peace with
Spain, and was at this very time corresponding with the duke of Parma on
the subject. The states-general took advantage of this feeling and
attempted to recover the authority which they had ceded to the earl of
Leicester, but did not fully succeed in doing so.

[Sidenote: Action of Sir Francis Drake.]

The preparations of Philippe for the invasion of England were rapidly
advancing, and it had been arranged between him and Parma that a
powerful army was to be massed in Flanders and Brabant, which should be
embarked in small vessels and convoyed across the straits by a great
fleet to be sent from Spain. Until all was ready, the queen was to be
kept unsuspicious of danger by pretended negotiations for peace, which
were never to be more than a blind.

To carry out this scheme Parma needed a capacious and convenient
harbour. Those he possessed were useless for his purpose, because the
English held Flushing at the mouth of the Schelde and Dutch armed ships
were constantly cruising almost up to Antwerp, so at the beginning of
June 1587 he laid siege to Sluis in north-western Flanders with all the
forces he could muster. The town had a garrison of eight hundred English
and eight hundred Dutch soldiers, and not only the burghers but the
women aided heroically in its defence. The importance of preventing such
a harbour from falling into the hands of the Spaniards was realised at
once in England, and Leicester was directed to return to the Netherlands
without delay. On the 7th of July he reached Flushing with three
thousand raw recruits, but the bickering between him and the states was
so great that united action was impossible, and his attempt to relieve
Sluis was an utter failure. The garrison was so reduced in number that
it could resist no longer, and the burghers and women were quite worn
out, when at the beginning of August Sluis capitulated on honourable
terms, and Parma came into possession of an excellent base for the
invasion of England.

That invasion, however, was deferred for a time, and the pretence of
negotiating for peace was to be continued many months longer, owing to
the action of the daring sea captain Sir Francis Drake. Drake sailed
from Plymouth on the 2nd of April 1587 with four men-of-war and
twenty-four ships fitted out by private adventurers, and seventeen days
later entered the harbour of Cadiz and pillaged, burned, and destroyed
some hundred and fifty vessels that he found there. He then sailed to
Lisbon, and destroyed a hundred transports and provision ships that were
lying in the Tagus. At first sight this looks something like piracy, for
there had been no declaration of war between England and Spain. But what
were all those vessels lying off Cadiz and Lisbon destined for? For the
invasion of England, and this it was that justified Drake in destroying
them as he so bravely did.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Leicester remained nearly six months in the Netherlands on his second
visit, and then, finding it impossible to recover his former authority,
he returned to England. On the 27th of December 1587 he attached his
name to a document resigning his office, but it did not reach the
states-general until April 1588. In the interim a condition of affairs
that can almost be termed civil war prevailed. The officials and
commanders of garrisons who had taken an oath of fidelity to Leicester
refused to obey any other authority, and young Maurits of Nassau, who
had been appointed by the states captain-general, was obliged to coerce
them by force of arms. At last Leicester’s resignation was received, and
on the 12th of April 1588 the states-general issued a placaat[27]
absolving all persons from their oaths of fidelity to him, when
something like harmony was restored. The baron Willoughby now became the
commander of the English troops in the Netherlands.

Warlike operations in that country were, however, almost stayed for a
while, owing to Parma’s whole attention being occupied with preparations
for the invasion of England and deceiving the English commissioners who
were treating for peace. He was building great numbers of small
transports, collecting vast stores of provisions and munitions of war,
and providing for sixty thousand soldiers, some of whom were intended
to hold his conquests during his absence and others to go with him to
England when the invincible armada should arrive from Spain with
additional forces and convoy his vessels across the channel.

[Sidenote: The Invincible Armada.]

At last in July 1588 the armada, consisting of a hundred and thirty-four
ships of war, with twenty thousand soldiers on board, sailed from
Coruña, and on the 29th of that month came in sight of the English
coast. Never in the world’s history were more important issues in the
balance than those dependent on that mighty fleet. Absolutism or
political liberty, iron bound religious conformity or freedom of
conscience, these were the issues at stake, not only for England and
Holland, but for mighty nations still unborn. It is not necessary to
relate the history of the armada here, every schoolboy knows how it came
to anchor in Calais roads, how the Sea Beggars of Holland and Zeeland
prevented Parma from joining it, how the English fleet under Howard and
Drake and Hawkins and other ocean heroes followed and worried it, how
they sent fireships that frightened it in confusion from Calais roads,
how it fled into the North sea with the English grappling every galleon
that lagged behind, how God sent a great storm that dispersed it, and
how finally only fifty-three out of the hundred and thirty-four huge
fighting ships reached the Spanish coast again, and these little better
than disabled wrecks. The invincible armada was no more, and England and
Holland were saved.

Parma had a great army under his command, but sickness was wasting it
away, and he had not the means of maintaining it properly. So much had
been expended upon the armada that it was impossible for Philippe to
send him the money he needed. He was in chronic ill-health and seemed to
have lost heart too by the failure of the mighty effort that had been
made, and so for a time took no action commensurate with what might have
been expected of him. He indeed laid siege to Bergen op Zoom, which was
garrisoned by five thousand Dutch and English soldiers under Colonel
Morgan, but he did not press it with his old vigour, and during the
night of the 12th of November 1588 he abandoned it. Then for months he
did nothing, until on the 10th of April 1589 he obtained possession of
Geertruidenberg, a town on the Brabant side of the Maas.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Philippe’s views were now directed more to France than to the
Netherlands. After the assassination of Henry III the two parties in
that kingdom appealed to arms, and Parma was directed to assist the duke
of Mayenne, who was at the head of the Catholic league, against Henry of
Navarre, then a Huguenot, the legitimate heir to the throne.
Accordingly, in March 1590 he began to send troops to Mayenne, and in
August he followed in person with twelve thousand infantry and three
thousand cavalry, but after breaking the blockade of Paris, then
besieged by Navarre, he returned to the Netherlands, leaving a strong
division of his forces in France. His soldiers were dying rapidly from
disease, they were unpaid and half mutinous, and neither money nor
sufficient provisions could be obtained in the exhausted Spanish
provinces. Under these circumstances Parma, notwithstanding the large
number of men nominally at his disposal, was really almost helpless.

Maurits was not slow to take advantage of this condition of things. He
had a regular army of only ten thousand infantry and two thousand
cavalry, but his troops were properly paid and well disciplined, and he
was rapidly advancing in military knowledge and skill. He had also the
assistance of a small English contingent. On the 4th of March 1590 he
got possession of the important town of Breda in Brabant. During the
night of the 3rd seventy Hollanders concealed in a turf boat gained
entrance to the castle, and attacked the garrison of Italian soldiers
six times their number, who were seized with a panic and fled into the
town. Before dawn of the 4th a body of patriot troops, with Maurits at
their head, arrived, and Breda was gained. Within a few months eight
other towns in Brabant, though all of less importance than Breda, were
wrested from the Spaniards.

[Sidenote: Death of the Duke of Parma.]

During 1591 some great successes were gained by Maurits. On the 23rd of
May the great fort at Zutphen was taken, and on the 30th the town
capitulated. On the 10th of June Deventer was surrendered, and thus the
important cities lost by the treachery of Stanley and York were
recovered. On the 2nd of July Delfzyl, far north in Groningen,
capitulated, and on the 24th of September Hulst, in the north of
Flanders, was obliged to do the same. On the 21st of October Nymegen was
taken, so that the year was a most fortunate one for the patriot cause.
The Spanish garrisons of all these towns had made a stout resistance,
and some had held out for a long time, but none of those scenes of
massacre that characterised Spanish victories obscured the successes of
Maurits. The soldiers were permitted to march away unharmed, and the
result was that afterwards they did not fight so desperately as they
would have done if they had believed that to submit would be followed by
their butchery. As to religion, the same system was introduced in the
recovered towns as was observed in South Africa during the greater part
of the rule of the East India Company: only the Reformed worship could
be practised publicly, but there was no inquisition in matters of
conscience, and in their own houses men could worship as they pleased.

During 1592 less was accomplished. From January to June Parma was in
France, and when he left that country his ill health prevented him from
making much exertion. Philippe, without the slightest cause, had become
suspicious of his fidelity, and had resolved to disgrace him. From this
indignity he was spared by his death at Arras on the 3rd of December
1592. The old count Pieter Ernest Mansfeld then acted as
governor-general of the submissive Netherlands until January 1594, when
the archduke Ernest, brother of the emperor of Germany and nephew of
King Philippe, arrived at Brussels and assumed the duty. He was a man
of no account, and played a very unimportant part until his death on the
20th of February 1595. The count of Fuentes then acted as head of
affairs until the 29th of January 1596, when the cardinal archduke
Albert, youngest brother of the late Ernest, took over the charge.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

At this time the war against Spain was chiefly confined to France, where
both the English and the Dutch were aiding the king of Navarre against
Philippe and the Catholic league. In July 1593 the king of Navarre was
reconciled to the Catholic church, and on the 26th of February 1594 was
crowned at Chartres as Henry IV, king of France. Still the English and
Dutch continued to help him against Spain, and the Spanish forces,
except the garrisons of the towns, were withdrawn from the Netherlands
to oppose him, so that Maurits was able with his little army and a few
English auxiliaries to do something. He laid siege to Steenwyk, in the
north of Overyssel, which surrendered on the 4th of July 1592, and to
Koevorden, in Drenthe, which capitulated on the 12th of September of the
same year. Next he laid siege to Geertruidenberg, which capitulated on
the 22nd of June 1593, and to Groningen, which fell into his hands on
the 22nd of July 1594. The remainder of the district, then termed the
Ommelanden, was already a party to the union of Utrecht, and the city
now at once gave in its adhesion, so that the province of Groningen
thereafter took rank as a sister state of Holland and the others.

In 1595 nothing of much note occurred, and in 1596 the most important
military event was the recovery of Hulst by the archduke on the 18th of
August. But in this year an act of the king of Spain had very serious
consequences for the Netherlands. This was the repudiation by Philippe
of the public debt of his empire, which at this time was actually so
great that nearly the whole of his revenue was needed to pay the
interest alone. So reckless was the expenditure of the lord of Spain,
Portugal, Italy, the obedient Netherlands, America, and India! Twice
before, in 1557 and 1575, he had suspended payment to the national
creditors, and now, on the 20th of November 1596, he freed himself of
the whole burden by simply disowning it. The ruin of his creditors was
not more complete than the ruin of his credit thereafter. The obedient
provinces were so exhausted that the cardinal archduke could not raise
sufficient revenue from them to meet the cost of administration, much
less maintain the army, and the soldiers at once lost all heart.

[Sidenote: Successes of Prince Maurits.]

On the 31st of October of this year 1596 a treaty of alliance between
Henry IV of France, Elizabeth of England, and the States-General of the
seven United Provinces--Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland,
Overyssel, Friesland, and Groningen with Drenthe--was entered into at
the Hague, to defend themselves against Spain.[28] The oligarchal
republic was thus formally admitted into the sisterhood of nations.

There were four thousand of the very best of the Spanish infantry and
several squadrons of cavalry encamped at Turnhout in Brabant, where on
the 24th of January 1597 Maurits with a much inferior force attacked
them. They actually fled in a panic, and in the pursuit two thousand
were slain and five hundred were made prisoners. It was the most notable
victory ever won over Spanish veterans. Turnhout was occupied by the
patriots, and Maurits began to prepare for an extensive campaign.

In August 1597 he attacked the Spanish garrisons in the towns along the
Rhine on the eastern border of the United Provinces, and by the end of
October he had reduced nine of them. Five thousand Spanish soldiers
surrendered, who were allowed to march away unharmed, to add to the
troubles of the cardinal archduke, whose army was now and long
afterwards in a state of organised mutiny and a terror to the obedient
provinces. The patriot cause would have made great progress at this
time, but on the 2nd of May 1598 Henry IV seceded from the triple
alliance between England, France, and the United Provinces, and signed a
treaty of peace with Spain.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Four days after the conclusion of this treaty, on the 6th of May 1598,
Philippe II transferred the sovereignty of the Netherlands to his
favourite daughter Isabella, who was to marry the cardinal archduke
Albert. He was physically unable to carry on the government longer
himself, and on the 13th of September 1598 he died of a loathsome and
painful disease. On his deathbed he declared that he did not know of
ever having done anyone a wrong, so firmly convinced was he that all the
murders committed and all the blood that had been shed by his orders
tended to the glory of God and the promotion of true religion. Such a
man in his position is a greater enemy to mankind than an avowed infidel
could be, whether he gives others the choice of the koran or the sword,
adherence to any form of Christianity or death. He arrogates to himself
the power of defining the will of the Almighty God in matters of faith,
and of compelling others to profess to believe as he does, surely a
position that angels might shudder to take. The dead king was succeeded
by his son, Philippe III of Spain, who had none of his father’s patience
or industry, who was satisfied with his title, and left the
administration entirely to his favourite the duke of Lerma, the real
master of the Spanish realms.

The cession of the Netherlands to Isabella nominally severed the
provinces from Spain, but if she should leave no issue, it was provided
that they should return to their former condition. She was to have all
the assistance that Spain could afford to give, so that practically the
position was not greatly altered.

The republic was now left to defend itself almost unaided, for on the
16th of August 1598 a treaty of alliance with England was concluded at
Westminster, which provided for the payment of £800,000 to the queen for
the expenses incurred by her, and for her keeping eleven hundred and
fifty soldiers in the cautionary towns until the debt should be paid.
The second article of the treaty was: “The foresaid Lords the States,
confiding in the good Affection and Favour of her Majesty, for the
Preservation of the State of the foresaid _United Provinces_, shall be
contented with such aids as her Majesty shall please to give them, and
to continue the War, with the Assistance of God, the best they can.”[29]

[Sidenote: Battle of Nieuwpoort.]

Very little that was of permanent importance transpired in the
Netherlands for some time after the conclusion of this treaty. The
cardinal archduke was without money, and his soldiers were mutinous, so
that he could not undertake any military operations. He was preparing
too to become a layman and to wed the infanta Isabella, which event took
place in April 1599.

The Dutch, as henceforth the people of the republic of the United
Netherlands can be termed in contradistinction to the Belgians, or the
inhabitants of the obedient provinces, were superior to the Spaniards on
the sea, and were victorious in every naval engagement where the enemy
was not more than three to one against them, still privateers under the
Spanish flag frequently made sudden darts from Dunkirk and Nieuwpoort
and did much damage to Dutch trading vessels and fishing smacks. To
prevent this, the states-general resolved to send a strong expedition
against those places. Accordingly, in June 1600 Maurits with an army
thirteen thousand six hundred strong invaded Flanders and marched to
Nieuwpoort. The archduke Albert upon this appealed in stirring words to
his mutinous troops, and made such promises to them that twelve thousand
veterans agreed to return to duty. They reached the environs of
Nieuwpoort a few hours after Maurits, and there in the sand dunes on the
2nd of July 1600 was fought a pitched battle, which, though the Dutch
lost very heavily in a preliminary encounter, ended in a complete
victory in their favour. Three thousand Spaniards were killed, and six
hundred were made prisoners, among whom was the ferocious admiral of
Aragon. The Dutch lost two thousand men killed. Nieuwpoort, however, was
so strongly garrisoned that Maurits did not think it prudent to lay
siege to it, and so he returned to Zeeland.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Ostend was the only place on the coast of Flanders held by the Dutch,
and as soon as the archduke could get a sufficient force together he
laid siege to it. It was only a fishing village of three thousand
inhabitants, but as it formed a base from which expeditions could be
sent to any part of Flanders, it was an important position. Its siege
was one of the most memorable events of the long war, for it lasted over
three years, from the 5th of July 1601 to the 20th of September 1604.
Being open to Dutch shipping, reinforcements of men and supplies of
provisions were constantly thrown in, while on the other side every
soldier that the archduke Albert could engage was employed in the siege.
During those three years more than a hundred thousand men lost their
lives by pestilence or in the attack or defence of that village. The
struggle would have continued even longer, had it not been that a
Genoese volunteer of immense wealth and a perfect genius for war offered
his services and his money to Philippe III on condition of having the
supreme command of the army in Flanders, which offer had been accepted.
In October 1603 the marquis Ambrose Spinola took command at Ostend, and
he it was who brought the siege to a conclusion. He gained possession of
heaps of rubbish, but not a single building intact, and when the
garrison retired with the remnant of the fishing population, only one
man and one woman remained where Ostend had been.

In the meantime Maurits took advantage of the archduke’s whole attention
being occupied with Ostend to recover Grave, which surrendered to him
after a siege lasting from the 18th of July to the 18th of September
1602, and Sluis--a much more important place than Ostend--which fell
into his hands by capitulation on the 18th of August 1604.

[Sidenote: Action of James I of England.]

The death of Queen Elizabeth on the 24th of March 1603 was a great loss
to the republic. She had always realised that the Dutch cause against
Spain was England’s cause also, and though she had not given much
assistance of late, she had afforded some, and down to the fall of
Ostend a considerable number of Englishmen fought and fell side by side
with the sturdy republicans. Her successor, James I, was without her
ability. Soon after his accession he promised indeed to follow her
policy, but very shortly a project of alliance between the royal houses
of Spain and England took possession of his mind, and then he adopted
the opposite course. On the 30th of July 1603 at Hampton Court he signed
a treaty of alliance with Henry IV of France for the defence of the
United Provinces against Spain, and in the following year, 1604, he
entered into a treaty of perpetual peace and alliance with Philippe III
of Spain and the archduke and archduchess Albert and Isabella,[30] in
which he abandoned the Dutch cause. Thereafter his subjects were
strictly prohibited from aiding the enemies of Spain in any manner
whatever. He kept possession of the cautionary towns until June 1616,
when a compromise was made regarding the debt, and they were restored to
the republic.

No military event of any importance occurred after this until Spinola’s
sudden dash upon the eastern border, and the surrender to him of Grol or
Groenlo in Gelderland on the 14th of August 1606. Spinola’s funds were
now exhausted, and as means for carrying on the war could not be raised
either in the Belgic provinces or in Spain, hostilities on land
practically ceased.



[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

It was on the ocean that the Dutch were carrying on the war, and that
with marvellous success, for they were already beginning to drive the
Portuguese from their most valuable possessions in the eastern seas and
to found for themselves a vast colonial realm.

During the early years of the war trade was carried on between them and
the Spaniards just as in times of peace. The Hollanders and Zeelanders
indeed regarded Philippe’s subjects in Spain and Italy as their best
customers, and relied upon the profit on commerce with them for means to
carry on the war. On various occasions the king tried to check this
trade, and the English were loud in denouncing it, still it went on,
though always diminishing in bulk, until 1598, when an edict was issued
by Philippe declaring all Dutch ships found in his ports confiscated and
their crews prisoners.

For some time this had been foreseen, and the merchants of Amsterdam and
Middelburg were intent upon seeking new markets to replace the old ones
that would be lost. They were of opinion that a short passage to China
might be found by way of the sea north of Europe and Asia, and a man
thoroughly qualified to make the effort to look for it was soon found in
the person of Willem Barendszoon, a seaman of great courage, patience,
and skill. On the 5th of June 1594 Barendszoon sailed from Texel with
three ships fitted out respectively by the cities of Amsterdam and
Enkhuizen and the province of Zeeland. He was also provided with a yacht
to explore in advance of the larger vessels. With him as supercargo of
the Enkhuizen ship was Jan Huyghen van Linschoten, of whom much will
presently be said. Barendszoon sailed north of Nova Zembla with the
Amsterdam ship and the yacht, while the other two vessels tried to pass
through the Waigats between Nova Zembla and the mainland. But ice
blocked the passage of them all, and they were obliged to return
unsuccessful to Amsterdam, where they arrived on the 16th of

[Sidenote: Voyages of Willem Barendszoon.]

The states-general then resolved to send another expedition to prosecute
the search for a passage, and on the 2nd of July 1595 seven ships sailed
from the Maas for that purpose under the leadership of the dauntless
Willem Barendszoon. There was another man in that fleet whose name
stands high on the roll of Dutch heroes, Jacob van Heemskerk, who went
on this occasion as supercargo of a ship of Amsterdam. But ice again
obstructed the passage, and having done all that was possible to get
through it, the explorers were compelled to put about and entered the
Maas on the 18th of November.

Barendszoon was now of opinion that by sailing much farther north an
open sea might be found, and as several geographers and travellers of
note supported him in this view, the city of Amsterdam fitted out two
ships, in which he and Heemskerk sailed from Vlieland on the 18th of May
1596. On this occasion Barendszoon visited Spitzbergen and reached 80°
north latitude, but ice still blocked the road to China. One of the
ships then returned home, the other was frozen fast and wrecked on the
coast of Nova Zembla. The crew built a hut on the shore, and passed the
winter in it, living largely on Arctic foxes and using the skins for
clothing. In the spring they launched their two boats, in which they
fortunately reached a Russian settlement on the mainland, and
ultimately Heemskerk and eleven others reached the Maas, 29th of October
1597. Brave Willem Barendszoon died of exhaustion on the journey. In our
own time the hut on Nova Zembla was found intact, having stood nearly
three centuries on the frozen shore, and the relics it contained are now
preserved in the national museum.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

When the first of these expeditions had failed, and while the result of
the second was still unknown, some merchants of Amsterdam fitted out a
fleet of four vessels, which in the year 1595 sailed to India by way of
the Cape of Good Hope. Before this date, however, a few Netherlanders
had visited the eastern seas in the Portuguese service, and among them
was one in particular whose writings had great influence at that period
and for more than half a century afterwards.

Jan Huyghen van Linschoten was born at Haarlem, in the province of
Holland. He received a good general education, but from an early age he
gave himself up with ardour to the special study of geography and
history, and eagerly read such books of travel as were within his reach.
In 1579 he obtained permission from his parents, who were then residing
at Enkhuizen, to proceed to Seville, where his two elder brothers were
pushing their fortunes. He was at Seville when the cardinal king
Henrique of Portugal died, leaving the succession to the throne in
dispute. The duke of Alva with a strong Spanish army won it for his
master, and shortly afterwards Linschoten removed to Lisbon, where he
was a clerk in a merchant’s office when Philippe made his triumphal
entry and when Alva died.

Two years later he entered the service of a Dominican friar, by name
Vicente da Fonseca, who had been appointed by Philippe primate of India,
the see of Goa having been raised to an archbishopric in 1557. In April
1583 with his employer he sailed from Lisbon, and after touching at
Mozambique--where he remained from the 5th to the 20th of August,
diligently seeking information on that part of the world--he arrived at
Goa in September of the same year. He remained in India until January
1589. When returning to Europe in the ship _Santa Cruz_ from Cochin, he
passed through a quantity of wreckage from the ill-fated _São Thomé_,
which had sailed from the same port five days before he left, and he
visited several islands in the Atlantic, at one of which--Terceira--he
was detained a long time. He reached Lisbon again in January 1592, and
eight months later rejoined his family at Enkhuizen, after an absence of
nearly thirteen years.

[Sidenote: Work of Jan Huyghen van Linschoten.]

Early in 1595 the first of Linschoten’s books was published, in which an
account is given of the sailing directions followed by the Portuguese in
their navigation of the eastern waters, drawn from the treatises of
their most experienced pilots. This work shows the highest knowledge of
navigation that Europeans had then acquired. They had still no better
instrument for determining latitudes than the astrolabe and the cross
staff, and no means whatever for ascertaining longitudes other than by
dead reckoning. The vicinity of the Cape of Good Hope was known by the
appearance of the sea-birds called Cape pigeons and the great drifting
plants that are yet to be seen any day on the shores of the Cape
peninsula. The different kinds of ground that adhered to the tallow of
the sounding leads to some extent indicated the position, as did also
the variation of the magnetic needle, but whether a ship was fifty or a
hundred nautical miles from any given point could not be ascertained by
either of these means. When close to the shore, however, the position
was known by the appearance of the land, the form of the hills and
mountains, and the patches of sand and thicket, all of which had been
carefully delineated and laid down in the sailing directions.

Linschoten’s first book was followed in 1596 by a description of the
Indies, and by several geographical treatises drawn from Portuguese
sources, all profusely illustrated with maps and plates. Of Mozambique
an ample account was given from personal observation and inquiry. Dom
Pedro de Castro had just been succeeded as captain by Nuno Velho
Pereira, who informed the archbishop that in his three years’ term of
office he would realise a fortune of about nine tons of gold, or £75,000
sterling, derived chiefly from the trade in the precious metal carried
on at Sofala and in the territory of the monomotapa. Fort São Sebastio
had then no other garrison than the servants and attendants of the
captain, in addition to whom there were only forty or at most fifty
Portuguese and half-breed male residents on the island capable of
assisting in its defence. There were three or four hundred huts occupied
by negroes, some of whom were professed Christians, others Mohamedans,
and still others heathens. The exports to India were gold, ivory,
ambergris, ebony, and slaves. African slaves, being much stronger in
body than the natives of Hindostan, were used to perform the hardest and
coarsest work in the eastern possessions of Portugal, and--though
Linschoten does not state this--they were employed in considerable
numbers in the trading ships to relieve the European seamen from the
heavy labour of pumping, hauling, stowing and unstowing cargo,
cleansing, and so forth. These slaves were chiefly procured from the
lands to the northward, and very few, if any of them, were obtained in
the country south of the Zambesi.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

It serves to show how carefully and minutely Linschoten elicited
information at Mozambique, that he mentions a harbour on the coast which
is not named by any of the Portuguese writers of the time except Dos
Santos, whose book was not then published, and who only refers to it
incidentally, though it is now known to be the best port between
Inhambane and the Zambesi. This is Beira, as at present termed, then
known to the sailors of the pangayos that traded to the southward as
Porto Bango. Linschoten gives its latitude as 19½°, half a league north
of Sofala. He mentions also Delagoa Bay, that is the present Algoa Bay,
and gives its latitude as 33½°. He describes the monsoons of the Indian
ocean, and states that ships from Portugal availed themselves of these
periodical winds by waiting at Mozambique until the 1st of August, and
never leaving after the middle of September, thus securing a safe and
easy passage to the coast of Hindostan.

[Sidenote: First Voyage of the Dutch to India.]

He frequently refers to the gold of Sofala and the country of the
monomotapa, of which he had heard just such reports as Vasco da Gama had
eagerly listened to eighty-six years before. Yet he did not magnify the
importance of these rumours as the Portuguese had done, though it was
mainly from his writings that his countrymen became possessed of that
spirit of cupidity which induced them a few years later to make
strenuous efforts to become masters of South-Eastern Africa.

Linschoten’s treatises were collected and published in a single large
volume, and the work was at once received as a text-book, a position
which its merits entitled it to occupy. The most defective portion of
the whole is that referring to South Africa: and for this reason, that
it was then impossible to get any correct information about the interior
of the continent below the Zambesi west of the part frequented by the
Portuguese. Linschoten himself saw no more of it than a fleeting glimpse
of False Cape afforded on his outward passage, and his description was
of necessity based upon the faulty maps of the geographers of his time,
so that it was full of errors. But his account of India and of the way
to reach its several ports was so correct that it could serve the
purpose of a guide-book, and his treatise on the mode of navigation by
the Portuguese was thus used by the commander of the first Dutch fleet
that appeared in the eastern seas.

The four vessels which left Texel on the 2nd of April 1595 were under
the general direction of an officer named Cornelis Houtman. In the
afternoon of the 2nd of August the Cape of Good Hope was seen, and next
day, after passing Agulhas, the fleet kept close to the land, the little
_Duifke_ sailing in front and looking for a harbour. On the 4th the bay
called by the Portuguese Agoada de São Bras was discovered, and as the
Duifke found good holding ground in nine or ten fathoms of water, the
_Mauritius_, _Hollandia_, and _Amsterdam_ entered and dropped their

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Here the fleet remained until the 11th, when sail was again set for the
East. During the interval a supply of fresh water was taken in, and some
oxen and sheep were purchased from the inhabitants for knives, old
tools, and pieces of iron. The Europeans were surprised to find the
sheep covered with hair instead of wool, and with enormous tails of pure
fat. No women or habitations were seen. The appearance of the
Hottentots, their clothing, their assagais, their method of making a
fire by twirling a piece of wood rapidly round in the socket of another
piece, their filthiness in eating, and the clicking of their language,
are all correctly described; but it was surmised that they were
cannibals, because they were observed to eat the half-raw intestines of
animals, and a fable commonly believed in Europe was repeated concerning
their mutilation in a peculiar manner of the bodies of conquered
enemies. The intercourse with the few Hottentots seen was friendly,
though at times each suspected the other of evil intentions.

A chart of the inlet was made,[33] from which it is seen to be the one
now called Mossel Bay. A little island in it was covered with seals and
penguins, some of each of which were killed and eaten. The variation of
the compass was observed to be so trifling that the needle might be said
to point to the north.

[Sidenote: Account by John Davis.]

From the watering place of São Bras Houtman continued his voyage, and
reached Sumatra safely. He next visited Bantam in the island of Java,
where, owing to the influence of Portuguese traders, he and several of
his attendants were made prisoners and were only released on payment of
a ransom of £400. Some other ports of Java were visited, as were also
Madura and Bali, and a small quantity of spice was purchased, but there
were many quarrels and some combats with the natives. So many men died
that it was necessary to burn the _Amsterdam_, which ship was much
decayed, and strengthen the crews of the other three vessels. Houtman
then left to return home, and reached Texel on the 14th of August 1597,
after an absence of over twenty-eight months.

Financially the first venture of the Dutch to the Indies was not a
success, but the spirit of enterprise was excited by it, and immediately
trading companies began to be formed in different towns of Holland and
Zeeland, and fleets were fitted out with the object of opening up an
eastern trade. It will not be necessary to give an account of all these
companies, but mention must be made of some of the fleets.

On the 15th of March 1598 two ships, the _Leeuw_ and the _Leeuwin_,
sailed from Vlissingen under command of Cornelis Houtman. In the _Leeuw_
the famous English seaman John Davis was chief pilot, that is sailing
master. They put into the watering place of Saldanha for refreshment,
where Davis, in his account of the voyage, says that the Hottentots fell
by surprise upon the men who were ashore bartering cattle, and killed
thirteen of them. In his narrative Davis says that at Cape Agulhas the
magnetic needle was without variation, but in his sailing directions,
written after another voyage to India, he says: “At False Cape there is
no variation that I can find by observing south from it. The variation
of Cape Agulhas is thirty minutes from north to west. And at the Cape of
Good Hope the compass is varied from north to east five and twenty
minutes.” At Atchin about a hundred and fifty tons of pepper were
purchased and taken in, but on the 1st of September 1599 a party of
Sumatrans went on board the two ships and suddenly drew their weapons
and murdered Cornelis Houtman and many others. In both ships they were
ultimately driven off with heavy loss. Some men were on shore at the
time, and they also were attacked, when eight were made prisoners and
the others were killed. Altogether sixty white men lost their lives on
this occasion. There was no further attempt to trade or to explore, and
after a voyage marked by loss the expedition reached home again on the
29th of July 1600.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the 1st of May 1598 Jacob van Nek sailed from Texel with six large
ships and two yachts. Second in command was Wybrand van Waerwyk, and
third in rank was Jacob van Heemskerk, who had only returned from his
terrible sojourn in the polar sea six months before. This voyage was an
eminently successful one. Four of the ships were speedily sent home
fully laden with pepper and valuable spices obtained at Bantam; two
others purchased cargoes at Banda, and when they sailed left twenty men
behind with money and goods to trade until the arrival of another fleet;
and the remaining two procured cargoes at Ternate, and left six men
there to trade when they sailed. All reached home in safety, with the
most valuable cargoes that had ever entered a Netherlands port.

On the 13th of September 1598 Olivier van Noort sailed from Goeree with
two ships and two yachts, having in all two hundred and forty-eight
souls on board, with the intention of ascertaining whether a western
route to India would not be preferable to that round the Cape of Good
Hope. It was necessary to burn one of the yachts on the passage, and one
of the ships parted company after passing through the straits of
Magellan and was never seen again. On the western coast of South
America Van Noort destroyed several trading vessels, and then set his
course for Manilla. Off that harbour, on the 14th of December 1600, two
large galleons attacked him, when the yacht _Eendracht_ sailed away,
drawing one of the galleons in pursuit. The _Mauritius_ engaged the
other, and after a stubborn combat succeeded in sinking her. As she was
going down some two hundred men jumped overboard, but instead of
attempting to rescue them, the crew of the _Mauritius_ pushed those who
swam alongside their ship underneath the water with poles. After the
engagement there were only forty-eight men left in the Dutch ship. The
yacht escaped, and reached Ternate, from which island her crew proceeded
to Bantam. Van Noort continued his westward course, and was the first
Netherlander to sail round the world. He reached Rotterdam on the 12th
of August 1601.

[Sidenote: The First Dutch Fort in India.]

On the 26th of April 1599 Stephen van der Hagen sailed from Texel with
three ships, the _Zon_, the _Maan_, and the _Morgen Ster_. The people of
Amboina were then at war with the Portuguese, and Van der Hagen entered
into an agreement with their ruler to assist him in return for a
monopoly of the sale of cloves at a fixed price. In accordance with this
agreement, in September 1600 under Van der Hagen’s direction a fort was
built at Amboina, and when he sailed he left twenty-seven Dutch
volunteers under Jan Dirkszoon Sonneberg to aid in guarding it.

No fresh discoveries on the African coast were made by any of the fleets
sent out at this time, but to some of the bays new names were given.

In December 1599 four ships fitted out by an association at Amsterdam
calling itself the New Brabant Company sailed from Texel for the Indies,
under command of Pieter Both. Two of them returned early in 1601,
leaving the _Vereenigde Landen_ and the _Hof van Holland_ under charge
of Paulus van Caerden to follow as soon as they could obtain cargoes.
On the 8th of July 1601 Van Caerden put into the watering place of São
Bras on the South African coast, for the purpose of repairing one of his
ships which was in a leaky condition. The commander, with twenty
soldiers, went a short distance inland to endeavour to find people from
whom he could obtain some cattle, but though he came across a party of
eight individuals he did not succeed in getting any oxen or sheep. A
supply of fresh water was taken in, but no refreshment except mussels
could be procured, on account of which Van Caerden gave the inlet the
name Mossel Bay, which it has ever since retained.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the 14th the _Hof van Holland_ having been repaired, the two ships
sailed, but two days later, as they were making no progress against a
head wind, they put into another bay. Here some Hottentots were found,
from whom the voyagers obtained for pieces of iron as many horned cattle
and sheep as they could consume fresh or had salt to preserve. For this
reason the commander gave it the name Flesh Bay.

On the 21st sail was set, but the _Hof van Holland_ being found leaky
again, on the 23rd another bay was entered, where her damages were
repaired. On account of a westerly gale the ships were detained here
until the 30th, when they sailed, but finding the wind contrary outside,
they returned to anchor. No inhabitants were seen, but the commander
visited a river near by, where he encountered a party from whom he
obtained five sheep in exchange for bits of iron. In the river were
numerous hippopotami. Abundance of fine fish having been secured here,
the commander gave the inlet the name Fish Bay.

On the 2nd of August the ships sailed, and on the 27th passed the Cape
of Good Hope, to the great joy of all on board, who had begun to fear
that they might be detained much longer on the eastern side by adverse

On the 5th of May 1601 a fleet of three vessels, named the _Ram_, the
_Schaap_, and the _Lam_, sailed for the Indies from Vere in Zeeland,
under command of Joris van Spilbergen. On the 15th of November the fleet
put into St. Helena Bay, where no inhabitants were seen, though smoke
rising from many fires was observed inland. The only refreshment
procurable was fish, which were caught in great quantities.

[Sidenote: Naming of Table Bay.]

On the 20th Spilbergen sailed from St. Helena Bay, and beating against a
head wind, in the evening of the 28th he anchored off an island, to
which he gave the name Elizabeth. Four years later Sir Edward
Michelburne termed it Cony Island, which name, under the Dutch form of
Dassen, it still bears. Seals in great numbers, sea-birds of different
kinds, and conies were found. At this place he remained only twenty-four
hours. On the 2nd of December he cast anchor close to another island,
which he named Cornelia. It was the Robben Island of the present day.
Here were found seals and penguins in great numbers, but no conies. The
next day at noon Spilbergen reached the watering place of Saldanha, the
anchorage in front of Table Mountain, and gave it the name Table Bay,
which it still bears.

The sick were conveyed to land, where a hospital was established. A few
inhabitants were met, to whom presents of beads were made, and who were
understood to make signs that they would bring cattle for sale, but they
went away and did not return. Abundance of fish was obtained with a
seine at the mouth of a stream which Spilbergen named the Jacqueline,
now Salt River; but, as meat was wanted, the smallest of the vessels was
sent to Elizabeth Island, where a great number of penguins and conies
were killed and salted in. The fleet remained in Table Bay until the
23rd of December. When passing Cornelia Island, a couple of conies were
set on shore, and seven or eight sheep, which had been left there by
some previous voyagers, were shot, and their carcases taken on board.
Off the Cape of Good Hope the two French ships of which mention has been
made were seen.

Spilbergen kept along the coast, noticing the formation of the land and
the numerous streams falling into the sea, but was sorely hindered in
his progress by the Agulhas current, which was found setting so strong
to the south-westward that at times he could make no way against it even
with the breeze in his favour. On the 17th of January 1602, owing to
this cause, he stood off from the coast, and did not see it again.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the 23rd of April 1601 Wolfert Hermanszoon sailed for the Indies with
a fleet of five ships. On reaching Palembang in Sumatra he learned from
the Chinese crew of a trading vessel that a Portuguese fleet of eight
large galleons and twenty-two smaller ships, under André Furtado de
Mendoça, was besieging Bantam with a view of punishing its ruler for
having traded with the Dutch. Mendoça was a man of renown in the
East,[34] having been a successful commander in many wars, and his force
was apparently so enormous in comparison with that under Hermanszoon
that at first sight it would seem foolhardy to contend with it. But the
Sea Beggars were not given to be afraid of anything on their own
element, and they realised the importance of relieving Bantam and
establishing their reputation for valour in the eyes of the Indian
rulers. Accordingly Hermanszoon prepared his ships for action, sailed to
Bantam, and on the 25th of December 1601 boldly attacked the great

It was soon seen that the battle was not such an unequal one after all.
Mendoça had eight hundred Portuguese soldiers in his fleet, but the
crews of his ships were all lascars or slaves, who were almost useless
in battle. Hermanszoon could choose his position, deliver his fire, and
then stand off and prepare for another attack. His ships, clumsy as they
would appear to our eyes, were to those of the Portuguese like what
modern gunboats under steam would be to three-deckers of the last
century. At nightfall Mendoça drew his ships close together under an
island, and arranged them to act as a great fort. On the 26th the
weather was stormy, so that nothing could be done. On the 27th
Hermanszoon attacked again, and succeeded in overmastering and burning
two of the smaller ships of war after nearly every one on board was
killed. Mendoça used three more of his frigates as fire ships, but the
Dutch vessels were too swift for him and were out of harm’s way before
they exploded. He did not wait to be attacked again, and on the morning
of the 28th his armada was seen to be in full flight and Bantam was

[Sidenote: Success of the Dutch at Bantam.]

The Dutch were received with transports of joy by the ruler and people
of the place, and a commercial treaty greatly to their advantage was
entered into. At Banda also a similar treaty was concluded. When
returning home, a Portuguese carrack or freight ship of the largest
size, with a valuable cargo on board, was captured off St. Helena, so
that the voyage was a very profitable one.

Mendoça, after his flight from Bantam, directed his course to Amboina,
where he inflicted heavy punishment upon the natives for trading with
the Dutch, and cut down all the clove trees in the neighbourhood of the
principal town. He then placed a garrison in the fort there, and took
his departure.

Jacob van Heemskerk left Holland in company with Hermanszoon on the 23rd
of April 1601 on his second voyage to India as admiral of a fleet of
eight ships. In June 1603 he captured a carrack very richly laden with
silk, porcelain, and other Chinese productions, on her way from Macao to
Malacca. A few weeks later another carrack similarly laden was captured
at Macao without resistance by a fleet under Cornelis van Veen.

Altogether between 1595 and 1602 sixty-five ships sailed from Holland
and Zeeland for India, of which only fifty-four returned. By this time
it had become evident that large armed fleets were necessary to secure
safety and to cope with the Portuguese there if a permanent trade was
to be established. The rivalry too between the little companies was
raising the price of spices so greatly in the East and lowering it in
Europe that it was feared there would soon be no profit left. For these
reasons, and to conduct the Indian trade in a manner the most beneficial
to the people of the whole republic, the states-general resolved to
unite all the small trading associations in one great company with many
privileges and large powers. The first step to this end was to
amalgamate the various companies in each town, and when this was
effected, to bring them all under one directorate. The charter, or terms
upon which the consolidated Company came into existence, was dated at
the Hague on the 20th of March 1602, and contained forty-six clauses,
the principal of which were as follows:--

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

All of the inhabitants of the United Netherlands had the right given to
them to subscribe to the capital in as small or as large sums as they
might choose, with this proviso, that if more money should be tendered
than was needed, those applying for shares of over two thousand five
hundred pounds sterling should receive less, so that the applicants for
smaller shares might have the full amounts asked for allotted to them.

The chambers, or offices for the transaction of business, were to
participate in the following proportion: that of Amsterdam one-half,
that of Middelburg in Zeeland one-quarter, those of Delft and Rotterdam,
otherwise called of the Maas, together one-eighth, and those of Hoorn
and Enkhuizen, otherwise called those of the North Quarter or sometimes
those of North Holland and West Friesland, together the remaining

The general directory was to consist of seventeen persons, eight of whom
were to represent the chamber of Amsterdam, four that of Middelburg, two
those of the Maas, two those of the North Quarter, and the seventeenth
was to be chosen alternately by all of these except the chamber of
Amsterdam. The place of meeting of the general directory was fixed at
Amsterdam for six successive years, then at Middelburg for two years,
then at Amsterdam again for six years, and so on.

[Sidenote: Charter of the East India Company.]

The directors of each chamber were named in the charter, being the
individuals who were the directors of the companies previously
established in those towns, and it was provided that no others should be
appointed until these should be reduced by death or resignation: in the
chamber of Amsterdam to twenty persons, in that of Zeeland to twelve,
and in those of Delft, Rotterdam, Hoorn, and Enkhuizen each to seven.
After that, whenever a vacancy should occur, the remaining directors
were to nominate three qualified individuals, of whom the states of the
province in which the chamber was situated were to select one.

To qualify an individual to be a director in the chambers of the North
Quarter it was necessary to own shares to the value of £250 sterling,
and double that amount to be a director in any of the other chambers.
The directors were to be bound by oath to be faithful in the
administration of the duties entrusted to them, and not to favour a
majority of the shareholders at the expense of a minority. Directors
were prohibited from selling anything whatever to the Company without
previously obtaining the sanction of the states provincial or the
authorities of the city in which the chamber that they represented was

All inhabitants of the United Provinces other than this Company were
prohibited from trading beyond the Straits of Magellan, or to the
eastward of the Cape of Good Hope, during the period of twenty-one
years, for which the charter was granted, under penalty of forfeiture of
ship and cargo. Within these limits the East India Company was empowered
to enter into treaties and make contracts in the name of the
states-general, to build fortresses, to appoint governors, military
commanders, judges, and other necessary officers, who were all, however,
to take oaths of fidelity to the states-general or high authorities of
the Netherlands, who were not to be prevented from making complaints to
the states-general, and whose appointments were to be reported to the
states-general for confirmation.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

For these privileges the Company was to pay £12,500 sterling, which
amount the states-general subscribed towards the capital, for the profit
and at the risk of the general government of the provinces. The capital
was nominally furnished in the following proportions: Amsterdam
one-half, Zeeland one-fourth, the Maas one-eighth, and the North Quarter
one-eighth; but in reality it was contributed as under:--

                                    £       _s._       _d._
  Amsterdam                      307,202    10          0
  Zeeland                        106,304    10          0
  The Maas  {Delft                38,880     3          4
            {Rotterdam            14,546    16          8
  The North Quarter {Hoorn        22,369     3          4
                    {Enkhuizen    47,380     3          4
  Total working capital          536,683     6          8
  The share of the states-general 12,500     0          0
  Total nominal capital          549,183     6          8

The capital was divided into shares of £250 sterling each. The shares,
often sub-divided into fractions, were negotiable like any other
property, and rose or fell in value according to the position of the
Company at any time.

The advantage which the State derived from the establishment of this
great association was apparent. The sums received in payment of import
dues would have been contributed to an equal extent by individual
traders. The amounts paid for the renewal of the charter--in 1647 the
Company paid £133,333 6_s._ 8_d._ for its renewal for twenty-five years,
and still larger sums were paid subsequently--might have been derived
from trading licenses. The Company frequently aided the Republic with
loans of large amount when the State was in temporary need, but loans
could then have been raised in the modern method whenever necessary.
Apart from these services, however, there was one supreme advantage
gained by the creation of the East India Company which could not have
been obtained from individual traders. A powerful navy was called into
existence, great armed fleets working in unison and subject to the same
control were always ready to assist the State. What must otherwise have
been an element of weakness, a vast number of merchant ships scattered
over the ocean and ready to fall a prey to an enemy’s cruisers, was
turned into a bulwark of strength.

[Sidenote: Influence of Amsterdam.]

In course of time several modifications took place in the constitution
of the Company, and the different provinces as well as various cities
were granted the privilege of having representatives in one or other of
the chambers. Thus the provinces Gelderland, Utrecht, and Friesland, and
the cities Dordrecht, Haarlem, Leiden, and Gouda had each a
representative in the chamber of Amsterdam; Groningen had a
representative in the chamber of Zeeland; Overyssel one in the chamber
of Delft, &c. The object of this was to make the Company represent the
whole Republic.

Notwithstanding such regulations, however, the city of Amsterdam soon
came to exercise an immoderate influence in the direction. In 1672 it
was estimated that shares equal to three-fourths of the whole capital
were owned there, and of the twenty-five directors of the local chamber,
eighteen were chosen by the burgomasters of the city. Fortunately, the
charter secured to the other chambers a stated proportion of patronage
and trade.

Such was the constitution of the Company which set itself the task of
destroying the Portuguese power in the East and securing for itself the
lucrative spice trade. It had no difficulty in obtaining as many men as
were needed, for the German states--not then as now united in one great
empire--formed an almost inexhaustible reservoir to draw soldiers from,
and the Dutch seaports, together with Norway, Sweden, and Denmark,
furnished an adequate supply of excellent seamen. It sent out strong and
well-armed fleets, capable of meeting any force the enemy had to oppose
them, and of driving him from the open seas.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The first of these fleets was sent out in two divisions, one of three
large ships, under Sebald de Weert, which sailed on the 31st of March
1602, and the other of eleven large ships and a yacht, under Wybrand van
Waerwyk, which followed on the 17th of June. Sebald de Weert directed
his course to the island of Ceylon, and cast anchor in the harbour of
Batticaloa on the eastern shore. The maharaja of Kandy was then the most
powerful ruler in the island, and was at war with the Portuguese.
Spilbergen had been to visit him, and now De Weert followed, he and his
attendants riding inland on elephants. He was received with great state
by the maharaja and the people. An agreement was made of close
friendship and commercial intercourse, and a plan of operations against
the Portuguese was arranged. De Weert returned to Batticaloa, and
proceeded to Atchin for assistance, from which place he came back with
seven ships.

But now a great blunder was made. No meat was to be purchased, and as
some cows were seen a party of men went ashore and shot them, in
absolute ignorance of the Buddhist belief in the transmigration of souls
and the commandment not to take life.[35] Full payment was offered, but
was indignantly refused, and a complete revulsion of feeling towards the
Dutch took place. De Weert could not imagine the cause of this, but
prepared to give the maharaja, who was on his way to the coast, a
splendid reception on board his ship. Meantime four Portuguese vessels
were captured, and their crews were released and sent away. One of the
maharaja’s sons was a prisoner in the hands of the Portuguese, and he
thought to obtain his liberty in exchange for the Portuguese officers.
When the captives were released without an exchange having been effected
the prince’s rage knew no bounds. On the 1st of June 1603 De Weert and
forty-six others went ashore unsuspicious of danger, when they were
suddenly attacked by the maharaja’s order, and all were put to death.
This ended commercial intercourse for a time, but in 1610 another treaty
of friendship was entered into with the ruler of Kandy.

[Sidenote: Establishment at Bantam.]

Wybrand van Waerwyk with the principal division of the fleet cast anchor
before Bantam in the island of Java, and in August 1603 concluded an
arrangement with the sultan for the establishment of a permanent factory
or trading station in that town. A strong stone building was procured
for the purpose, goods were landed and stored, and an officer named
François Wittert was placed in charge with a staff of assistants. This
factory at Bantam was for several years thereafter regarded as the
principal establishment of the Dutch in India. Another, but much smaller
one, was soon afterwards formed at Grésik in the same island.

Though the Dutch were soon in almost undisputed possession of the
valuable Spice islands, they were never able to eject the Portuguese
from the comparatively worthless coast of South-Eastern Africa. That
coast would only have been an encumbrance to them, if they had secured
it, for its commerce was never worth much more than the cost of its
maintenance until the highlands of the interior were occupied by
Europeans, and the terrible mortality caused by its malaria would have
been a serious misfortune to them. It was out of their ocean highway
too, for they steered across south of Madagascar, instead of keeping
along the African shore. But they were drawn on by rumours of the gold
which was to be had, and so they resolved to make themselves masters of
Mozambique, and with that island of all the Portuguese possessions
subordinate to it. In Lisbon their intentions were suspected, and in
January 1601 the king issued instructions that Dom Alvaro d’Abranches,
Nuno da Cunha’s successor as captain of Mozambique, was on no account to
absent himself from the island, as it might at any time be attacked by
either the Turks or the Dutch.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the 18th of December 1603 Steven van der Hagen left Holland for India
with a strong armed fleet, consisting of the _Vereenigde Provincien_,
_Amsterdam_, _Dordrecht_, _Hoorn_, and _West Friesland_, each of three
hundred and fifty tons burden, the _Gelderland_ and _Zeelandia_, each of
two hundred and fifty tons, the _Hof van Holland_, of one hundred and
eighty tons, the _Delft_ and _Enkhuizen_, each of one hundred and fifty
tons, the _Medenblik_, of one hundred and twenty-five tons, and a
despatch boat named the _Duifken_, of thirty tons burden. In those days
such a fleet was regarded as, and actually was, a very formidable force,
for though there were no ships in it of the size of the great galleons
of Spain and Portugal, each one was much less unwieldy, and had its
artillery better placed. There were twelve hundred men on board, and the
equipment cost no less than £184,947 6_s._ 8_d._

Van der Hagen arrived before Mozambique on the 17th of June 1604. Fort
São Sebastião had not at the time its ordinary garrison of one hundred
soldiers, owing to a disaster that had recently occurred. A great horde
of barbarians, called the Cabires by the Portuguese, had entered the
territory of the monomotapa, and were laying it waste, so the captain
Lourenço de Brito went to the assistance of the Kalanga chief, but was
defeated and lost ten or twelve Portuguese and part of his stores.
Sebastião de Macedo was then in command at Mozambique. He sent a vessel
with fifty soldiers to De Brito’s assistance, but on the passage she was
lost with all on board. None had yet arrived to replace them, but the
resident inhabitants of the island had retired to the fort with
everything of value that they could remove, so Van der Hagen considered
it too strong to be attacked and therefore proceeded to blockade it.
There was a carrack at anchor, waiting for some others from Lisbon to
sail in company to Goa. The boats of the Dutch fleet cut her out, in
spite of the heavy fire of the fort upon them. She had on board a
quantity of ivory collected at Sofala and other places on the East
African coast, but nothing else of much value.

[Sidenote: First Siege of Mozambique.]

On the 30th of June a small vessel from one of the factories, laden with
rice and ivory, came running up to the island, and was too near to
escape when she discovered her danger. She was turned into a tender, and
named the _Mozambique_. Then, for five weeks, the blockade continued,
without any noteworthy incident. On the 5th of August five pangayos
arrived, laden with rice and millet, and were of course seized. Three
days later Van der Hagen landed on the island with one hundred and fifty
men, but found no sign of hunger, and saw that the prospect of the
surrender of the fort was remote. He did no other damage than setting
fire to a single house, and as night drew on he returned on board.

He was now anxious to proceed to India, so on the 12th of August he set
fire to the captured carrack, and sailed, leaving the _Delft_,
_Enkhuizen_, and _Duifken_, to wait for the ships expected from Lisbon.
These vessels rejoined him, but without having made any prizes, soon
after his arrival at Amboina, which was assigned as the place of
meeting. He then attacked the Portuguese fort on that island, which was
surrendered to him on the 23rd of February 1605. Having placed a Dutch
garrison in the fort, and thus secured possession of this valuable
island, he sailed to Tidor, where the Portuguese had a fortress. This
stronghold he gained in May 1605, but in March 1606 it was recovered by
the Portuguese, who at the same time overran a great part of the island
of Ternate, where Van der Hagen had obtained trading privileges. In
1605 a factory was also established by the Dutch on the island of Banda.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the 12th of May 1605 Cornelis Matelief sailed with eleven ships for
India. One of the most important strongholds of the Portuguese in the
East was Malacca, as it commanded the navigation of the strait of the
same name. Matelief entered into a treaty with the sultan of Johor at
the southern extremity of the Malay peninsula, and with his assistance
endeavoured to obtain possession of the stronghold, which was bravely
defended by André Furtado de Mendoça. The first blockade of Malacca
lasted four months, and ended by Matelief’s being obliged to retire from
a very superior naval force sent from Goa. The second blockade was
shorter, but though seven Portuguese ships were taken and five hundred
Portuguese soldiers were killed, it was unsuccessful. At Amboina,
Matelief strengthened the garrison of the Dutch fort, and gave the
soldiers and sailors there permission to marry native women. He did not
get possession of the Portuguese castle on Ternate, but he built Fort
Orange on another part of the island, and left an effective garrison in

On the 28th of January 1608 Matelief sailed from Bantam in the _Oranje_
to return home. On the 12th of April he put into Table Bay, as he was
badly in want of meat, and hoped to obtain as much as he needed here. In
this he succeeded, for he bartered thirty-four oxen, five calves, and a
hundred and seventy-three sheep from the Hottentots for pieces of old
iron hoop and rings, valued at less than a halfpenny for each animal.
His description of the Hottentots is one of the best of that time, and
is accurate in all its details. The greatest plague in Table Valley he
found to be the flies, which from this and other accounts appear to have
been even more troublesome then than they are to-day. On Robben Island
he killed about a hundred seals for the sake of their skins, and as he
had more sheep than he needed, he left twenty there to breed. He
remained in Table Bay longer than two months, and with a crew thoroughly
refreshed he set sail for Holland on the 22nd of June.

[Sidenote: Second Siege of Mozambique.]

Another attempt to get possession of Mozambique was made in 1607. On the
29th of March of that year a Dutch fleet of eight large ships--the
_Banda_, _Bantam_, _Ceylon_, _Walcheren_, _Ter Veere_, _Zierikzee_,
_China_, and _Patane_,--carrying one thousand and sixty men, commanded
by Paulus van Caerden, appeared before the island. The Portuguese
historian of this event represents that the fortress was at the time
badly in want of repair, that it was insufficiently provided with
cannon, and that there were no artillerymen nor indeed regular soldiers
of any branch of the service in it, its defence being undertaken by
seventy male inhabitants of the town, who were the only persons on the
island capable of bearing arms. But this statement does not agree either
with the Dutch narrative or with the account given by Dos Santos, from
which it appears that there were between soldiers and residents of the
island one hundred and forty-five men in the fortress. It was commanded
by an officer--Dom Estevão d’Ataide by name--who deserves a place among
the bravest of his countrymen. He divided his force into four companies,
to each of which he gave a bastion in charge. To one, under Martim Gomes
de Carvalho, was committed the defence of the bastion São João, another,
under Antonio Monteiro Corte Real, had a similar charge in the bastion
Santo Antonio, the bastion Nossa Senhora was confided to the care of
André de Alpoim de Brito, while the bastion São Gabriel, which was the
one most exposed to assault on the land side and where the stoutest
resistance would have to be made, was entrusted to the company under
Diogo de Carvalho. The people of the town abandoned their houses and
hastily took shelter within the fortress, carrying their most valuable
effects with them. Van Caerden, in the _Banda_, led the way right under
the guns of São Sebastião to the anchorage, where the Sofala packet and
two carracks were lying. A heavy fire was opened on both sides, but,
though the ships were slightly damaged, as the ramparts were of great
height and the Portuguese guns could not be depressed to command the
Dutch position thoroughly, no one except the master of the _Ceylon_ was
wounded. Two of the vessels at anchor were partly burned, but all were
made prizes after their crews had escaped to the shore.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the 1st of April Van Caerden landed with seven hundred men and seven
heavy guns, several of them twenty-eight-pounders, in order to lay siege
to Fort São Sebastião. The Portuguese set fire to the town, in order to
prevent their enemy from getting possession of spoil, though in this
object they were unsuccessful, as a heavy fall of rain extinguished the
flames before much damage was done. The Dutch commander took possession
of the abandoned buildings without opposition, and made the Dominican
convent his headquarters, lodging his people in the best houses. He
commenced at once making trenches in which the fortress could be
approached by men under shelter from its fire, and on the 6th his first
battery was completed. The blacks, excepting the able-bodied, being
considered an encumbrance by both combatants, D’Ataide expelled those
who were in the fort, and Van Caerden caused all who were within his
reach to be transported to the mainland.

From the batteries, which were mere earthen mounds with level surfaces,
protected on the exposed sides with boxes, casks, and bags filled with
soil, a heavy fire was opened, by which the parapet of the bastion Santo
Antonio was broken down, but it was repaired at night by the defenders,
the women and others incapable of bearing arms giving assistance in this
labour. The musketeers on the walls, in return, caused some loss to
their opponents by shooting any who exposed themselves. The Portuguese
historian makes special mention of one Dutch officer in a suit of white
armour, who went about recklessly in full view, encouraging his men, and
apparently regardless of danger, until he was killed by a musket ball.

[Sidenote: Second Siege of Mozambique.]

The trenches were at length within thirty paces of the bastion São
Gabriel, and a battery was constructed there, which could not be injured
by the cannon on the fortress owing to their great elevation, while from
it the walls could be battered with twenty-eight pound shot as long as
the artillerymen took care not to show themselves to the musketeers on
the ramparts. The Dutch commander then proposed a parley and D’Ataide
having consented, he demanded the surrender of the fortress. He stated
that the Portuguese could expect no assistance from either Europe or
India, as the mother country was exhausted and the viceroy Dom Martim
Affonso de Castro had been defeated in a naval engagement, besides which
nearly all the strongholds of the East were lost to them. It would
therefore be better to capitulate while it could be done in safety than
to expose the lives of the garrison to the fury of men who would carry
the place by storm. Further, even if the walls proved too massive for
cannon, hunger must soon reduce the fortress, as there could not be more
than three months’ provisions in it. The Portuguese replied with taunts
and bravado, and defied the besiegers to do their worst. They would have
no other intercourse with rebels, they said, than that of arms.

During the night of the 17th some of the garrison made a sortie for the
purpose of destroying a drawbridge, which they effected, and then
retired, after having killed two men according to their own account,
though only having wounded one according to the Dutch statement. A
trench was now made close up to the wall of the bastion São Gabriel, and
was covered with movable shields of timber of such thickness that they
could not be destroyed by anything thrown upon them from the ramparts.
During the night of the 29th, however, the garrison made a second
sortie, in which they killed five Hollanders and wounded many more, and
on the following day they succeeded in destroying the wooden shields by

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

In the meantime fever and dysentery had attacked Van Caerden’s people,
and the prospect was becoming gloomy in the extreme. The fire from the
batteries and ships had not damaged the walls of the fortress below the
parapet, and sickness was increasing so fast that the Dutch commander
could not wait for famine to give him the prize. He therefore resolved
to raise the siege, and on the 6th of May he removed his cannon.

War between nations of different creeds in those days was carried on in
a merciless manner. On the 7th of May Van Caerden wrote to Captain
d’Ataide that he intended to burn and destroy all the churches,
convents, houses, and palm groves on the island and the buildings and
plantations on the mainland, unless they were ransomed; but offered to
make terms if messengers were sent to him with that object. A truce was
entered into for the purpose of correspondence, and six Hollanders
dressed in Spanish costume went with a letter to the foot of the wall,
where it was fastened to a string and drawn up. D’Ataide declined the
proposal, however, and replied that he had no instructions from his
superiors, nor intention of his own, except to do all that was possible
with his weapons. He believed that if he ransomed the town on this
occasion, he would only expose it to similar treatment every time a
strong Dutch fleet should pass that way.

Van Caerden then burned all the boats, canoes, and houses, cut down all
the cocoa-nut trees, sent a party of men to the mainland, who destroyed
everything of value that they could reach there, and finally, just
before embarking he set fire to the Dominican convent and the church of
São Gabriel. What was more to be deplored, adds the Portuguese historian
Barbuda, “the perfidious heretics burned with abominable fury all the
images that were in the churches, after which they treated them with a
thousand barbarous indignities.” The walls of the great church and of
some other buildings were too massive to be destroyed by the flames, but
everything that was combustible was utterly ruined.

[Sidenote: Retirement of Van Caerden.]

On the morning of the 16th of May, before daylight, the Dutch fleet set
sail. As the ships were passing Fort São Sebastião every gun that could
be got to bear was brought into use on both sides, when the _Zierikzee_
had her tiller shot away, and ran aground. Her crew and the most
valuable effects on board were rescued, however, by the boats of the
rest of the fleet, though many men were wounded by the fire from the
fort. The wreck was given to the flames.

In the second attempt to get possession of Mozambique the Dutch lost
forty men, either killed by the enemy or carried off by fever, and they
took many sick and wounded away. The Portuguese asserted that they had
only thirteen men killed during the siege, and they magnified their
slain opponents to over three hundred.

After his arrival in India Van Caerden obtained possession of a couple
of Portuguese forts of small importance, but on the 17th of September
1608 he was taken prisoner in a naval battle, and was long detained in

As soon as their opponents were out of sight of Mozambique the
Portuguese set about repairing the damage that had been done. In this
they were assisted by the crews of three ships, under command of Dom
Jeronymo Coutinho, that called on their way from Lisbon to Goa. The
batteries were removed, the trenches were levelled, the walls of the
ruined Dominican convent were broken down, and the fortress was repaired
and provided with a good supply of food and munitions of war. Its
garrison also was strengthened with one hundred soldiers landed from the
ships. The inhabitants of the town returned to the ruins of their former
habitations, and endeavoured to make new homes for themselves. These
efforts to retrieve their disasters had hardly been made when the
island was attacked by another and more formidable fleet.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

It consisted of the ships _Geunieerde Provintien_, _Hollandia_,
_Amsterdam_, _Roode Leeuw met Pylen_, _Middelburg_, _Zeelandia_,
_Delft_, _Rotterdam_, _Hoorn_, _Arend_, _Paauw_, _Valk_, and
_Griffioen_, carrying in all between eighteen and nineteen hundred men,
and was under the command of Pieter Willemszoon Verhoeff, an officer who
had greatly distinguished himself after Admiral Heemskerk’s death in the
famous battle in Gibraltar Bay. Verhoeff left the Netherlands on the
22nd of December 1607, and after a long stay at the island of St. Helena
where he waited for the westerly winds to take him past the Cape of Good
Hope, on the 28th of July 1608 arrived at Mozambique. He was under the
impression that Van Caerden had certainly obtained possession of the
fortress, and his object was to lie in wait for Portuguese ships in the
Channel; but he was undeceived when his signals were answered with
cannon balls and a flag of defiance was hoisted over the ramparts.

In the port were lying four coasting vessels and a carrack with a
valuable cargo on board, ready to sail for Goa. In endeavouring to
escape, the carrack ran aground under the guns of the fort, where the
Dutch got possession of her, and made thirty-four of the crew prisoners.
These were removed, but before much of the cargo could be got out the
Portuguese from the fortress made a gallant dash, retook the carrack,
and burned her to the water’s edge. Two of the coasters were made
prizes, the other two were in a position where they could not be

Within a few hours of his arrival Verhoeff landed a strong force, and
formed a camp on the site of the destroyed Dominican convent. Next
morning he commenced making trenches towards the fortress, by digging
ditches and filling bags with earth, of which banks were then made. The
Portuguese of the town had retired within the fortress in such haste
that they were unable to remove any of their effects, and the blacks, as
during the preceding siege, were now sent over to the mainland to be out
of the way. Some of the ships were directed to cruise off the port, the
others were anchored out of cannon range. A regular siege of the
fortress was commenced.

[Sidenote: _Third Siege of Mozambique._]

In the mode of attack this siege differed little from that by Van
Caerden, as trenches and batteries were made in the same manner and
almost in the same places. But there were some incidents connected with
it that deserve to be mentioned. At its commencement an accident
occurred in the fortress, which nearly had disastrous consequences. A
soldier, through carelessness, let a lighted fuse fall in a quantity of
gunpowder, and by the explosion that resulted several men were killed
and a fire was kindled which for a short time threatened the destruction
of the storehouses, but which was extinguished before much harm was

On the second day after the batteries were in full working order the
wall of the fortress between the bastions Santo Antonio and São Gabriel
was partly broken down, and, according to the Portuguese account, a
breach was opened through which a storming party might have entered.
“If,” says the historian Barbuda, “they had been Portuguese, no doubt
they would have stormed; but as the Dutch are nothing more than good
artillerymen, and beyond this are of no account except to be burned as
desperate heretics, they had not courage to rush through the ruin of the
wall.” That this was said of men who had fought under Heemskerk leads
one to suspect that probably the breach was not of great size, and the
more so as the garrison was able to repair it during the following
night. It is not mentioned in the Dutch account, in which the bravery of
their opponents is fully recognised.

On the 4th of August Verhoeff sent a trumpeter with a letter demanding
the surrender of the fortress. D’Ataide would not even write a reply.
He said that as he had compelled Van Caerden to abandon the siege he
hoped to be able to do the same with his present opponent. The captain
of the bastion São Gabriel, however, wrote that the castle had been
confided by the king to the commandant, who was not the kind of cat to
be taken without gloves. Verhoeff believed that the garrison was ill
supplied with food, so his trumpeter was well entertained, and on
several occasions goats and pigs were driven out of the gateway in a
spirit of bravado.

[Sidenote: _Historical Sketches._]

Sorties were frequently made by the besieged, who had the advantage of
being able to observe from the ramparts the movements of the Dutch. In
one of these a soldier named Moraria distinguished himself by attacking
singly with his lance three pikemen in armour at a distance from their
batteries, killing two of them and wounding the other.

D’Ataide was made acquainted with his enemy’s plans by a French
deserter, who claimed his protection on the ground of being of the same
religion. Four others subsequently deserted from the Dutch camp, and
were received in the fortress on the same plea. Verhoeff demanded that
they should be surrendered to him, and threatened that if they were not
given up he would put to death the thirty-four prisoners he had taken in
the carrack. D’Ataide replied that if the prisoners were thirty-four
thousand he would not betray men who were catholics and who had claimed
his protection, but if the Portuguese captives were murdered their blood
would certainly be avenged. Verhoeff relates in his journal that the
whole of the prisoners were then brought out in sight of the garrison
and shot, regarding the act in the spirit of the time as rather
creditable than otherwise; but the version of the Portuguese historian
may be correct, in which it is stated that six men with their hands
bound were shot in sight of their countrymen, and that the others,
though threatened, were spared. Until the 18th of August the siege was
continued. Twelve hundred and fifty cannon balls had been fired against
the fortress, without effect as far as its reduction was concerned.
Thirty of Verhoeff’s men had been killed and eighty were wounded. He
therefore abandoned the effort, and embarked his force, after destroying
what remained of the town.

[Sidenote: Third Siege of Mozambique.]

On the 21st a great galleon approached the island so close that the
ships in the harbour could be counted from her deck, but put about the
moment the Dutch flag was distinguished. Verhoeff sent the ships
_Arend_, _Griffioen_, and _Valk_ in pursuit, and she was soon overtaken.
According to the Dutch account she made hardly any resistance, but in a
letter to the king from her captain, Francisco de Sodre Pereira, which
is still preserved, he claims to have made a gallant stand for the
honour of his flag. The galleon was poorly armed, but he says that he
fought till his ammunition was all expended, and even then would not
consent to surrender, though the ship was so riddled with cannon balls
that she was in danger of going down. He preferred, he said to those
around him, to sink with his colours flying. The purser, however,
lowered the ensign without orders, and a moment afterwards the Dutch,
who had closed in, took possession. The prize proved to be the _Bom
Jesus_, from Lisbon, which had got separated from a fleet on the way to
Goa, under command of the newly appointed viceroy, the count De Feira.
She had a crew of one hundred and eighty men. The officers were detained
as prisoners, the others were put ashore on the island Saint George with
provisions sufficient to last them two days.

On the 23rd of August the fleet sailed from Mozambique for India. There
can be little question that this defeat of the Dutch was more
advantageous to them than victory would have been, for if their design
had succeeded a very heavy tax upon their resources and their energy
would have been entailed thereafter. After this siege Fort São
Sebastião was provided with a garrison of one hundred and fifty men, and
some small armed vessels were kept on the coast to endeavour to prevent
the Dutch from communicating with the inhabitants or obtaining
provisions and water, but their ships kept the Portuguese stations in
constant alarm.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On his arrival in India Verhoeff entered into a treaty of alliance with
the ruler of Calicut against the Portuguese, in which he secured
commercial privileges. In May 1609 he and twenty-nine of his principal
officers, when holding a conference with some Bandanese, were murdered
on the island of Neira, and all the Dutch at Lonthor shared the same
fate. This led immediately to the conquest of Neira, and the erection of
the strong fort Nassau in a commanding position on the island. On the
10th of August 1609 a treaty of peace was concluded with the Bandanese
government, in which the sovereignty of Neira was ceded to the Dutch,
and a monopoly of the spice trade in all the islands dependent on Banda
was secured. In June 1609 a treaty was concluded with the ruler of
Ternate, by which that island and all its dependencies came under the
protection of the Dutch, and a monopoly of the spice trade was secured.
In September 1609 a factory was established at Firato in Japan, where
the Dutch obtained from the emperor liberty to trade. On the 25th of
November 1609 the Portuguese fort on Batjan, one of the Molucca islands,
was taken, and became thereafter Fort Barneveld.



[Sidenote: Conquest and Trade in the East.]

By this time the Dutch had factories or trading stations at Masulipatam,
Pulikat, and two smaller places on the eastern coast of Hindostan, they
had liberty to trade at Calicut, they had entered into a new treaty with
the maharaja of Kandy in Ceylon, they had factories at Bantam and Grésik
in Java, and in November 1610 they entered into a treaty with the ruler
of Jakatra in the same island, in which they secured the site of the
future city of Batavia, they held the protectorate of Ternate, although
the Portuguese still had a fort there, Neira was theirs with a monopoly
of the spice trade of all the Banda islands, Batjan was theirs also, as
was Amboina, they had factories at Patani on the eastern coast of the
Malay peninsula, established in 1604, and at Johor at its southern
extremity, also at Achin in Sumatra, at Landok in Borneo, on the island
of Celebes, and in the empire of Japan. The foundation of the vast realm
which they subsequently acquired in the eastern seas was thus
established on the ruins of the gigantic dominions of Portugal, though
much fighting was still to be done before it should be fully built up.

A great defect appeared to be the want of some local authority to
control the conquests and supervise the trade. To meet this want the
assembly of seventeen resolved to establish a strong government in the
East, though the seat of authority was not fixed upon. On the 21st of
November 1609 Pieter Both was appointed first governor-general of
Netherlands India, and councillors, consisting of the principal
officials, were named to assist him. He left Texel on the 30th of
January 1610 with a fleet of eight ships. In a great storm off the Cape
his ship got separated from the others, so he put into Table Bay to
repair some damages to the mainmast and to refresh his men. In July 1610
Captain Nicholas Downton called at the same port in an English vessel,
and found Governor-General Both’s ship lying at anchor and also two
homeward bound Dutch ships taking in train oil that had been collected
at Robben Island. The governor-general arrived at Bantam on the 19th of
December 1610, and in the factory at that place, in a town belonging to
an independent though friendly sovereign, an authority, soon to eclipse
that of any Indian prince, was first established.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The great successes of the Dutch in the eastern seas caused the
Spaniards to desire peace, and they were prepared to acknowledge the
independence of the United Provinces if two conditions only could be
obtained: the right of Roman Catholics to worship in public and the
prohibition of the Indian trade. The archduke Albert made the first
advance by sending two secret agents to the Hague at the close of 1606.
The Dutch people were divided in opinion: one party, under the
leadership of the prominent statesman Johan van Olden-Barneveld,
favoured peace on reasonable terms, the other, under Maurits of Nassau,
desired to continue the war until Spain should be thoroughly humiliated.
The peace party was in the majority, and as the other European
governments were urgent that hostilities should be brought to an end, in
April 1607 an armistice was agreed to for eight months from the 4th of
May, in order that negotiations might be entered into.

Just at this time an event occurred which greatly promoted the desire of
the Spaniards for peace. A fleet of twenty-six small ships of war and
four tenders, under Admiral Jacob van Heemskerk, had recently been sent
by the states-general to cruise in the Atlantic. Heemskerk came to learn
that a Spanish war fleet of ten great galleons and eleven smaller
vessels, under command of Don Juan Alvarez d’Avila, was lying at anchor
in Gibraltar Bay under the guns of the fortress. Notwithstanding the
tremendous disparity of force, he determined to attack the enemy, and on
the 25th of April 1607 he stood into the bay and boldly grappled with
the monster galleons. It was like a fight between giants and pygmies,
but so daring were the Dutch sailors that every galleon was destroyed.
Before nightfall nothing of the Spanish fleet but burning fragments
could be seen floating in the bay or stranded on the shore. It was one
of the most brilliant naval victories ever recorded, and it was won
against such odds that it seemed to be due to God alone. Heemskerk fell
in the battle, killed by a cannon ball, leaving a deathless name of
glory behind him. The Spanish admiral also was killed in the engagement.
Unfortunately the victory was tarnished by a ferocious massacre of all
the Spaniards that could be laid hold of, for which barbarous act Pieter
Willemszoon Verhoeff, captain of the admiral’s ship, was chiefly

[Sidenote: Conclusion of a Long Truce.]

The Dutch now rejected the two Spanish conditions with disdain, and had
it not been for the intervention of the agents of other governments, the
negotiations would have been broken off. As it was, they were continued,
but such difficulties were experienced in coming to terms that it was
necessary to prolong the armistice from time to time, and it was not
until the 9th of April 1609 that matters were finally arranged and a
treaty was signed at Antwerp. Even then it was not a final peace that
was concluded, but only a truce for twelve years, during which time each
party was to retain whatever territory it possessed on that day, and
could carry on commerce freely with the other.

The republic of the United Netherlands thereafter consisted of the
provinces of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Friesland, Groningen, Overyssel
with Drenthe except the town of Oldenzaal, which was held by the
archduke, and about three quarters of ancient Gelderland, which retained
that name. In this, however, the town of Groenlo or Grol was held by the
archduke. South of the Schelde the republic was in possession of Sluis
and Axel, with the forts along the river in Flanders, which with
Flushing gave it control of the navigation of the stream and enabled it
to stifle Antwerp. South of the Maas it possessed in Brabant all the
territory belonging to the marquisate of Bergen op Zoom, the barony of
Breda, and the land of Grave with Kuik. This territory in Flanders and
Brabant was governed directly by the states-general, being of course
detached from the provinces to which it properly belonged. The seven
provinces were in one sense seven sovereign states, as they voted
separately in the states-general, and no one of them was bound by any
act to which it did not individually consent. It was the weakest form of
a federal government, being rather a loose alliance than a firm union.
That was its great defect, which, however, was not remedied until nearly
two centuries more had passed away.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The provinces that remained under the government of Albert and Isabella
covered much more ground than the present kingdom of Belgium.[36] France
always coveted them, and never lost an opportunity to gnaw portions of
them away. By the treaty of the Pyrenees on the 7th of November 1659
Louis XIV obtained a strip of territory containing Thionville, Montmedi,
Damvilliers, Ivoix, and Marville. By the treaty of Aix la Chapelle on
the 2nd of May 1668 he obtained Lille, Douai, Courtrai, and Charleroi.
On the 17th of March 1677 Valenciennes was taken by the French, and on
the 5th of April 1677 Cambrai fell into their hands. By the treaty of
Nymegen on the 17th of September 1678 France was recognised as the owner
of a slice of Belgian territory containing these cities, and by the
treaty of Ratisbon on the 15th of August 1684 she acquired part of

[Sidenote: Partition of Belgian Territory.]

Thus before the close of the seventeenth century Belgium had lost to
France two entire provinces--Artois and Lille with Douai and
Orchies--and part of Flanders containing Dunkirk, Gravelines, and
Menior, part of Hainaut, containing Valenciennes, Bavay, Maubeuge,
Conde, Marienbourg, and Philippeville, part of Namur containing
Charlemont, part of Luxemburg containing Thionville and Montmedi, and
the city and bishopric of Cambrai, which then ranked as a duchy. The
present boundary between France and Belgium was not fixed until 1814.

By the treaty of Utrecht the portion of Gelderland that remained subject
to Albert and Isabella in 1609, excepting the town of Venlo, which
passed to the republic, and the town and district of Roermonde, which
went to Austria, was ceded to Prussia and became the circle of
Düsseldorf. Roermonde was added to the kingdom of the Netherlands in
1831. Luxemburg was divided into two portions by the treaty of London in
1839, one of which is now part of the German empire, and the other
remains a province of Belgium. By the same treaty Limburg was divided
into two sections, one of which remained to Belgium, the other became
part of the kingdom of the Netherlands.

By the treaty of Munster on the 30th of January 1648, in which the king
of Spain recognised the independence of the United Netherlands, the
present province of North Brabant went to the republic,[37] as did also
the city and jurisdiction of Maastricht and a small portion of Flanders.
A map of Belgium as it is to-day is thus very different from one in
1610, but it contains the province of Liege, which did not then belong
to it.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The trade of the Dutch with India now increased rapidly, but South
Africa was hardly affected by it, except through the visits of passing
ships and occasionally the residence of parties of Europeans for a short
time on its shores.

In May 1611 the Dutch skipper Isaac le Maire, after whom the straits of
Le Maire are named, called at Table Bay. When he sailed, he left behind
his son Jacob and a party of seamen, who resided in Table Valley for
several months. Their object was to kill seals on Robben Island, and to
harpoon whales, which were then very abundant in South African waters in
the winter season. They also tried to open up a trade for skins of
animals with the Hottentots in the neighbourhood, but in this met with
no success, as those barbarians needed all the peltry they could obtain
for their own use.

In 1616 the assembly of seventeen resolved that its outward bound fleets
should always put into Table Bay to refresh the crews, and from that
time onward Dutch ships touched there almost every season. A kind of
post office was established by marking the dates of arrivals and
departures on stones, and burying letters in places indicated. But no
attempt was made to explore the country, and no port south of the
Zambesi except Table Bay was frequented by Netherlanders, so that down
to the middle of the century nothing more concerning it was known than
the Portuguese had placed on record.

The Dutch had now to fear the competition of the English in the East
much more than that of the Portuguese. Our countrymen were equally
enterprising and courageous, and however friendly the two nations might
be in Europe, in distant lands they were animated by a spirit of rivalry
which on some occasions went so far as to cause them to act
unscrupulously towards each other. It will not be necessary to relate
here the proceedings of the English in the eastern seas, but some
references to their visits to Table Bay in those early times must be

[Sidenote: English Visitors to South Africa.]

They too had established an East India Company, whose first fleet,
consisting of the _Dragon_, of six hundred tons, the _Hector_, of three
hundred tons, the _Ascension_, of two hundred and sixty tons, and the
_Susan_, of two hundred and forty tons burden, sailed from Torbay on the
22nd of April 1601. The admiral was James Lancaster, the same who had
commanded the _Edward Bonaventure_ ten years earlier. The chief pilot
was John Davis, who had only returned from the Indies nine months
before. On the 9th of September the fleet came to anchor in Table Bay,
by which time the crews of all except the admiral’s ship were so
terribly afflicted with scurvy that they were unable to drop their
anchors. The admiral had kept his men in a tolerable state of health by
supplying them with a small quantity of limejuice daily. After his ship
was anchored he was obliged to get out his boats and go to the
assistance of the others. Sails were then taken on shore to serve as
tents, and the sick were landed as soon as possible. Trade was commenced
with the Hottentots and in the course of a few days forty-two oxen and a
thousand sheep were obtained for pieces of iron hoop. The fleet remained
in Table Bay nearly seven weeks, during which time most of the sick men

On the 5th of December 1604 the _Tiger_--a ship of two hundred and forty
tons--and a pinnace called the _Tiger’s Whelp_ set sail from Cowes for
the Indies. The expedition was under command of Sir Edward Michelburne,
and next to him in rank was Captain John Davis. It was the last voyage
that this famous seaman was destined to make, for he was killed in an
encounter with Japanese pirates on the 27th of December 1605. The
journal of the voyage contains the following paragraph:--

“The 3rd of April 1605 we sailed by a little island which Captain John
Davis took to be one that stands some five or six leagues from
Saldanha. Whereupon our general, Sir Edward Michelburne, desirous to see
the island, took his skiff, accompanied by no more than the master’s
mate, the purser, myself, and four men that did row the boat, and so
putting off from the ship we came on land. While we were on shore they
in the ship had a storm, which drove them out of sight of the island;
and we were two days and two nights before we could recover our ship.
Upon the said island is abundance of great conies and seals, whereupon
we called it Cony Island.”

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the 9th of April they anchored in Table Bay, where they remained
until the 3rd of the following month refreshing themselves.

On the 14th of March 1608 the East India Company’s ships _Ascension_ and
_Union_ sailed from England, and on the 14th of July put into Table Bay
to obtain refreshments and to build a small vessel for which they had
brought out the materials ready prepared. The crews constructed a fort
to protect themselves, by raising an earthen wall in the form of a
square and mounting a cannon on each angle. They found a few Hottentots
on the shore, to whom they made known by signs their want of oxen and
sheep, which three days afterwards were brought for barter in such
numbers that they procured as much meat as they needed. They gave a yard
(91·4 centimetres) of iron hoop for an ox, and half that length for a
sheep. After bartering them, the Hottentots whistled some away and then
brought them for sale again, which was not resented, as the English
officers were desirous of remaining on friendly terms with the rude
people. For the same reason no notice was taken of the theft of various
articles of trifling value.

Boats were sent to Robben Island to capture seals, as oil was needed,
and many of these animals were killed and brought to the fort. After
cutting off the oily parts the carcases were carried to a distance as
useless, but for fifteen days the Hottentots feasted upon the flesh,
which they merely heated on embers, though before the expiration of that
time it had become so putrid and the odour so offensive that the
Europeans were obliged to keep at a great distance from it.

[Sidenote: English Visitors to South Africa.]

Great quantities of steenbras were obtained with a seine at the mouth of
Salt River, and three thousand five hundred mullets were caught and
taken on board for consumption after leaving. The object of refreshing
was thus fully carried out, as was also that of putting together the
little vessel, which was even made larger than the original design, and
which when launched was named the _Good Hope_.

Mr. John Jourdain, an official of the East India Company, who was a
passenger in the _Ascension_, and from whose journal this account is
taken, with some others ascended Table Mountain. From its summit they
saw the same sheet of water on the flats which Antonio de Saldanha a
hundred and five years before had mistaken for the mouth of a great
river, and which Mr. Jourdain now mistook for an inland harbour with an
opening to the sea by which ships might enter it. He, however, unlike
his Portuguese predecessor, had an opportunity afterwards of visiting
the big pond and ascertaining that his conjecture was incorrect.

Mr. Jourdain was of opinion that a settlement of great utility might be
formed in Table Valley. In words almost identical with those of Jansen
and Proot forty years later he spoke of its capabilities for producing
grain and fruit, of the hides, sealskins, and oil that could be obtained
to reduce the expense, of the possibility of opening up a trade in
ivory, as he had seen many footprints of elephants, and of bringing the
Hottentots first to “civility,” and then to a knowledge of God.

After a stay of little more than two months, on the 19th of September
the _Ascension_ and _Union_ sailed again, with the _Good Hope_ in their

From this date onward the fleets of the English East India Company made
Table Bay a port of call and refreshment, and usually procured in barter
from the Hottentots as many cattle as they needed. In 1614 the board of
directors sent a ship with as many spare men as she could carry, a
quantity of provisions, and some naval stores to Table Bay to wait for
the homeward bound fleet, and, while delayed, to carry on a whale and
seal fishery as a means of partly meeting the expense. The plan was
found to answer fairly well, and it was continued for several years. The
relieving vessels left England between October and February, in order to
be at the Cape in May, when the homeward bound fleets usually arrived
from India. If men were much needed, the victualler--which was commonly
an old vessel--was then abandoned, otherwise an ordinary crew was left
in her to capture whales, or she proceeded to some port in the East,
according to circumstances.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The advantage of a place of refreshment in South Africa was obvious, and
as early as 1613 enterprising individuals in the service of the East
India Company drew the attention of the directors to the advisability of
forming a settlement in Table Valley. Still earlier it was rumoured that
the king of Spain and Portugal had such a design in contemplation, with
the object of cutting off thereby the intercourse of all other nations
with the Indian seas, so that the strategical value of the Cape was
already recognised. The directors discussed the matter on several
occasions, but their views in those days were very limited, and the
scheme seemed too large for them to attempt alone.

In their fleets were officers of a much more enterprising spirit, as
they were without responsibility in regard to the cost of any new
undertaking. In 1620 some of these proclaimed King James I sovereign of
the territory extending from Table Bay to the dominions of the nearest
Christian prince. The records of this event are interesting, as they
not only give the particulars of the proclamation and the reasons that
led to it, but show that there must often have been a good deal of
bustle in Table Valley in those days.

[Sidenote: English Visitors to South Africa.]

On the 24th of June 1620 four ships bound to Surat under command of
Andrew Shillinge, put into Table Bay, and were joined when entering by
two others bound to Bantam, under command of Humphrey Fitzherbert. The
Dutch had at this time the greater part of the commerce of the East in
their hands, and nine large ships under their flag were found at anchor.
The English vessel _Lion_ was also there. Commodore Fitzherbert made the
acquaintance of some of the Dutch officers, and was informed by them
that they had inspected the country around, as their Company intended to
form a settlement in Table Valley the following year. Thereupon he
consulted with Commodore Shillinge, who agreed with him that it was
advisable to try to frustrate the project of the Hollanders. On the 25th
the Dutch fleet sailed for Bantam, and the _Lion_ left at the same time,
but the _Schiedam_, from Delft, arrived and cast anchor.

On the 1st of July the principal English officers, twenty-one in
number,--among them the Arctic navigator William Baffin,--met in
council, and resolved to proclaim the sovereignty of King James I over
the whole country. They placed on record their reasons for this
decision, which were, that they were of opinion a few men only would be
needed to keep possession of Table Valley, that a plantation would be of
great service for the refreshment of the fleets, that the soil was
fruitful and the climate pleasant, that the Hottentots would become
willing subjects in time and they hoped would also become servants of
God, that the whale fishery would be a source of profit, but, above all,
that they regarded it as more fitting for the Dutch when ashore there to
be subjects of the king of England than for Englishmen to be subject to
them or anyone else. “Rule Britannia” was a very strong sentiment,
evidently, with that party of adventurous seamen.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the 3rd of July a proclamation of sovereignty was read in presence of
as many men of the six ships as could go ashore for the purpose of
taking part in the ceremony. Skipper Jan Cornelis Kunst, of the
_Schiedam_, and some of his officers were also present, and raised no
objection. On the Lion’s rump, or King James’s mount as Fitzherbert and
Shillinge named it, the flag of St. George was hoisted, and was saluted,
the spot being afterwards marked by a mound of stones. A small flag was
then given to the Hottentots to preserve and exhibit to visitors, which
it was believed they would do most carefully.

After going through this ceremony with the object of frustrating the
designs of the Dutch, the English officers buried a packet of despatches
beside a stone slab in the valley, on which were engraved the letters V
O C, they being in perfect ignorance of the fact that those symbols
denoted prior possession taken for the Dutch East India Company. On the
25th of July the Surat fleet sailed, and on the next day Fitzherbert’s
two ships followed, leaving at anchor in the bay only the English ship
_Bear_, which had arrived on the 10th.

The proceeding of Fitzherbert and Shillinge, which was entirely
unauthorised, was not confirmed by the directors of the East India
Company or by the government of England, and nothing whatever came of
it. At that time the ocean commerce of England was small, and as she had
just entered upon the work of colonising North America, she was not
prepared to attempt to form a settlement in South Africa also. Her king
and the directors of her India Company had no higher ambition than to
enter into a close alliance with the Dutch Company, and to secure by
this means a stated proportion of the trade of the East. In the
Netherlands also a large and influential party was in favour of either
forming a federated company, or of a binding union of some kind, so as
to put it out of the power of the Spaniards and Portuguese to harm
them. From 1613 onward this matter was frequently discussed on both
sides of the Channel, and delegates went backward and forward, but it
was almost impossible to arrange terms.

[Sidenote: Proposed Alliance of English and Dutch.]

The Dutch had many fortresses which they had either built or taken from
the Portuguese in Java and the Spice islands, and the English had none,
so that the conditions of the two parties were unequal. In 1617,
however, the king of France sent ships to the eastern seas, and in the
following year the king of Denmark embarked in the same enterprise, when
a possibility arose that one or other of them might unite with Holland
or England. Accordingly each party was more willing than before to make
concessions, and on the 2nd of June 1619 a treaty of close alliance was
entered into at London between the two Companies, which was ratified by
their respective governments.[38]

It provided that all past differences should be forgotten, and all
persons, ships, and goods detained by either side be immediately
released. That the servants of each Company should act in the most
friendly manner towards those of the other, and give them assistance
when needed. That commerce in all parts of India should be free to both.
That joint efforts should be made to reduce the price of products in
India to a fixed and reasonable rate, and that a selling price in Europe
should be agreed upon from time to time, below which it should not be
lawful for either party to dispose of them. That pepper should only be
purchased in Java by a commission representing both parties, and be
equally divided afterwards between the two Companies. That the Dutch
Company should have two-thirds of the trade at the Moluccas, Banda, and
Amboina, and the English one-third. That twenty ships of war from six to
eight hundred tons burden, armed with thirty heavy cannon, and carrying
one hundred and fifty men each, should be maintained in the eastern seas
for the protection of commerce, half by each Company. And that a council
of defence should be established, consisting of four of the principal
officers on each side, to appoint stations for the ships and to engage
and pay land forces.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

There were thirty-one articles in all, of which the above were the
principal, the others referring to matters of less importance, but
dealing with them in the same spirit. The treaty was intended to bring
the two East India Companies into as close a union as that existing
between the different provinces of the Netherlands republic.

The rivalry, however,--bordering closely on animosity--between the
servants of the two companies in distant lands prevented any agreement
of this nature made in Europe being carried out, and though in 1623
another treaty of alliance was entered into, in the following year it
was dissolved. Thereafter the great success of the Dutch in the East
placed them beyond the desire of partnership with competitors.

While these negotiations were in progress, a proposal was made from
Holland that a refreshment station should be established in South Africa
for the joint use of the fleets of the two nations, and the English
directors received it favourably. They undertook to cause a search for a
proper place to be made by the next ship sent to the Cape with relief
for the returning fleet, and left the Dutch at liberty to make a similar
search in any convenient way. Accordingly on the 30th of November 1619
the assembly of seventeen issued instructions to the commander of the
fleet then about to sail to examine the coast carefully from Saldanha
Bay to a hundred or a hundred and fifty nautical miles east of the Cape
of Good Hope, in order that the best harbour for the purpose might be
selected. This was done, and an opinion was pronounced in favour of
Table Bay. In 1622 a portion of the coast was inspected for the same
purpose by Captain Johnson, in the English ship _Rose_, but his opinion
of Table Bay and the other places which he visited was such that he
would not recommend any of them. The tenor of his report mattered
little, however, for with the failure of the close alliance between the
two companies, the design of establishing a refreshment station in South
Africa was abandoned by both.

[Sidenote: Disasters in Table Valley.]

Perhaps the ill opinion of Table Bay formed by Captain Johnson may have
arisen from an occurrence that took place on its shore during the
previous voyage of the _Rose_. That ship arrived in the bay on the 28th
of January 1620, and on the following day eight of her crew went ashore
with a seine to catch fish near the mouth of Salt River. They never
returned, but the bodies of four were afterwards found and buried, and
it was believed that the Hottentots had either carried the other four
away as prisoners or had murdered them and concealed their corpses.

This was not the only occurrence of the kind, for in March 1632
twenty-three men belonging to a Dutch ship that put into Table Bay lost
their lives in conflict with the inhabitants. The cause of these
quarrels is not known with certainty, but at the time it was believed
they were brought on by the Europeans attempting to rob the Hottentots
of cattle.

An experiment was once made with a view of trying to secure a firm
friend among the Hottentots, and impressing those people with respect
for the wonders of civilisation. In 1613 two Hottentots were taken from
Table Valley on board a ship returning from India, one of whom died of
grief soon after leaving his home.[39] The other, who was named Cory,
reached England, where he resided six months and learned to understand
and speak a little English. He was made a great deal of, and received
many rich and valuable presents from benevolent people. Sir Thomas
Smythe, the governor of the East India Company, was particularly kind to
him, and gave him among other things a complete suit of brass armour. He
returned to South Africa with Captain Nicholas Downton in the ship _New
Year’s Gift_, and in June 1614 landed in Table Valley with all his
treasures. But Captain Downton, who thought that he was overflowing with
gratitude, saw him no more. Cory returned to his former habits of
living, and instead of acting as was anticipated, taught his countrymen
to despise bits of copper in exchange for their cattle, so that for a
long time afterwards it was impossible for ships that called to obtain a
supply of fresh meat.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Mr. John Jourdain, when returning from India to England, put into Table
Bay on the 25th of February 1617. A few lean calves were obtained on the
day the ships anchored, but nothing whatever afterwards, though at one
time about ten thousand head of cattle were in sight. Mr. Jourdain and a
party of sixty armed men went a short distance into the country, and he
was of opinion that through the roguery of “that dogge Cory” they would
have been drawn into a conflict with some five thousand Hottentots if
they had not prudently retired. Thereafter he believed no cattle would
be obtained except at dear rates, for the Hottentots no longer esteemed
iron hoops, copper, or even shining brass. A fort, he considered, would
be the only means of bringing them to “civility.” On this occasion Mr.
Jourdain remained in Table Bay eighteen days, of which only four were
calm and fine.

According to a statement made by a Welshman who was in Table Bay in
August 1627, and who kept a journal, part of which has been
preserved,[40] Cory came to an evil end. The entry reads: “They” (the
Hottentots) “hate the duchmen since they hanged one of the blackes
called Cary who was in England & upon refusall of fresh victuals they
put him to death.”

[Sidenote: English Convicts sent to Table Valley.]

It has been seen what use the Portuguese made of convicts when they were
exploring unknown countries, or when there were duties of a particularly
hazardous or unpleasant nature to be performed. The English employed
criminals in the same manner. In January 1615 the governor of the East
India Company obtained permission from the king to transport some men
under sentence of death to countries occupied by savages, where, it was
supposed, they would be the means of procuring provisions, making
discoveries, and creating trade. The records in existence--unless there
are documents in some unknown place--furnish too scanty material for a
complete account of the manner in which this design was carried out.
Only the following can be ascertained with certainty. A few days after
the consent of the king was given, the sheriffs of London sent seventeen
men from Newgate on board ships bound to the Indies, and these were
voluntarily accompanied by three others, who appear to have been
convicted criminals, but not under sentence of death. The proceeding was
regarded as “a very charitable deed and a means to bring them to God by
giving them time for repentance, to crave pardon for their sins, and
reconcile themselves unto His favour.” On the 5th of June, after a
passage from the Thames of one hundred and thirty-two days, the four
ships comprising the fleet arrived in Table Bay, and on the 16th nine of
the condemned men were set ashore with their own free will. A boat was
left for their use, and to each a gun with some ammunition and a
quantity of provisions was given.

Of some of these convicts the afterlife is known. Two were taken on to
India by Sir Thomas Roe, one of whom, Duffield by name, returned with
him to England, where he requited the kindness shown to him by stealing
some plate and running away. Of those set ashore in Table Valley, one,
named Cross, committed some offence against the Hottentots shortly after
the ships sailed, and was killed by them. The other _seven_[41] escaped
to Robben Island, where their boat was wrecked. They lived five or six
months on the island, when an English ship put into the bay, and four of
them made a raft and tried to get to her, but were drowned on the way.
The next day the ship sent a boat to the island, and took off the other
three. They behaved badly on board, commenced to steal again as soon as
they reached England, and were apprehended and executed in accordance
with their old sentences.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

In one of the ships that brought these convicts in 1615 Sir Thomas Roe,
English envoy to the great Mogul, was a passenger. A pillar bearing an
inscription of his embassy was set up in Table Valley, and fifteen or
twenty kilogrammes weight of stone which he believed to contain
quicksilver and vermilion was taken away to be assayed in England, but
of particulars that would be much more interesting now no information
whatever is to be had from the records of his journey.

Again, in June 1616, three condemned men were set ashore in Table Valley
from a fleet under Commodore Joseph on its way to the East. A letter
signed by them is extant, in which they acknowledge the clemency of King
James in granting them their forfeited lives, and promise to do his
Majesty good and acceptable service. Terry, who was an eye witness, says
that before they were set ashore they begged the commodore rather to
hang them than to abandon them, but he left them behind. The _Swan_, one
of the vessels of the fleet, however, was detained in Table Bay a day or
two longer than her consorts, and she took them on to Bantam in Java.

[Sidenote: Scanty Information supplied by Englishmen.]

There may have been other instances of the kind, of which no record is
in existence now, but this seems unlikely. It is certain that no
information upon the country, its inhabitants, or its resources was ever
obtained from criminals set ashore here.

No further effort was made by the English at this time to form a
connection with the inhabitants of South Africa, though their ships
continued to call at Table Bay for the purpose of taking in water and
getting such other refreshment as was obtainable. They did not attempt
to explore the country or to correct the charts of its coasts, nor did
they frequent any of its ports except Table Bay, and very rarely Mossel
Bay, until a much later date. A few remarks in ships’ journals, and a
few pages of observations and opinions in a book of travels such as that
of Sir Thomas Herbert, from none of which can any reliable information
be obtained that is not also to be drawn from earlier Portuguese
writers, are all the contributions to a knowledge of South Africa made
by Englishmen during the early years of the seventeenth century. Though
our countrymen were behind no others in energy and daring, as Drake,
Raleigh, Gilbert, Davis, Hawkins, and a host of others had proved so
well, not forgetting either the memorable story of the Revenge, which
Jan Huyghen van Linschoten handed down for a modern historian to write
in more thrilling words, England had not yet entered fully upon her
destined career either of discovery or of commerce, the time when “the
ocean wave should be her home” was still in the days to come.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The Danes were the next to make their appearance in the Indian seas.
Their first fleet, fitted out by King Christian IV, consisted of six
ships, under Ove Giedde as admiral. On the 8th of July 1619 this fleet
put into Table Bay, where eight English ships were found at anchor,
whose officers treated the Danes with hospitality. Admiral Giedde
remained here until the 5th of August, when his people were sufficiently
refreshed to proceed on their voyage. On the 30th of August 1621 he
reached Table Bay again in the ship _Elephant_ on his return passage
from Ceylon and India, and remained until the 12th of September. Before
leaving he had an inscription cut on a stone, in which the dates of both
his visits were recorded.


_Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel. A History of the Successful
Struggle of a few Hollanders and Huguenots against Tyranny and




The days of John the son of Peter and Peter the son of John were passing
away, though not quite entirely gone, and surnames such as are now in
use were becoming generally adopted by working people, when one Adriaan
van der Stel, otherwise Adriaan the son of Simon, is found among the
citizens of the town of Dordrecht in the province of South Holland. He
was by occupation a cooper, and like many of his energetic countrymen at
that time he tried to improve his position by entering the service of
the East India Company and going abroad. Accordingly he engaged as
cooper and junior assistant or clerk, a combination of duties by no
means uncommon in the Company’s service in the early days, and in 1623
went to India in the yacht _Star_. He was engaged at a salary of ten
guldens or 16_s._ 8_d._ a month, besides his maintenance, but there were
little privileges allowed to men in his position, which often were of
greater value than the wage received.

This Adriaan van der Stel was a man of ability, and as early as the 28th
of March 1624 was promoted in the service and had his pay increased to
eighteen guldens or £1 10_s._ a month. Time went on, and by 1638, under
the governor-generalship of Anthonie van Diemen, he had advanced so far
that he was chosen to succeed Pieter de Goyer as commander of the island
of Mauritius. This island, which was uninhabited, had recently been
taken possession of by the East India Company, and De Goyer had been
sent to occupy it with a small party of men. The position was not
indeed a very dignified one, corresponding as it did to that of ensign
in charge of a little military outpost, but his selection to fill it was
proof that the high Indian authorities placed confidence in him.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

He had followed a custom prevalent in India ever since 1607, when the
Dutch commander-in-chief Cornelis Matelief gave his soldiers and sailors
permission to form alliances with native women, with a view of raising a
class of mixed breeds who would form a link between the European and
Asiatic races. The Portuguese had set the example in this, and the
advantage of it to them was evident, as they could not have continued to
hold a single station in the East without the assistance of the large
Eurasian element in the population of their settlements. If not actually
encouraged by the Dutch, this practice was by no means looked upon with
disfavour in the seventeenth century, and a half-breed, if at all
worthy, was as certain of employment and promotion as a white man. And
as the form of marriage could not be gone through when the woman was not
a professed Christian, looser alliances were regarded as throwing little
or no discredit upon either father or child.

Adriaan van der Stel formed a connection of this kind with an Indian
woman named Monica of the Coast, who accompanied him to Mauritius, and
there on the 14th of November 1639 bore him a son, whom he named Simon.
After serving for a time satisfactorily at Mauritius, where no one
wished to remain long, he was removed to Batavia, and shortly afterwards
was transferred to Ceylon in a military capacity as commander of a body
of troops. Such changes of occupation are constantly met with in
following the careers of men in the East India Company’s service, and
some of the ablest officials were alike skilful as diplomatists, as
traders, and as commanders in war on sea or on land.

At this time, which was shortly after Cornelis van der Lyn became
governor-general, the Portuguese were making a desperate effort to
retain their last strongholds on the western coast of Ceylon. Their most
important possession on the island was Colombo, which they retained
until May 1656, and when it surrendered the Dutch had the seaboard
entirely to themselves. There was indeed peace in Europe between the
Netherlands and Portugal, now independent of Spain once more, but that
did not prevent the continuance of the struggle in the East. The chief
Dutch stronghold was Galle, in the south of the island. The king of
Kandy, Raja Singha Rajoc, was styled emperor of Ceylon, but had really
lost all authority over the coast-lands, which were subject either to
the Dutch or the Portuguese. His policy was to keep them pitted against
each other, and occasionally to assist whichever appeared weakest, for
he bore neither of them any love. And in point of fact he was able
whenever he chose to fall upon one or the other with impunity, as that
one was unable to retort by falling upon him. A few years later, after
the Portuguese had been expelled, the condition of things was of course
very different.

[Sidenote: Death of Adriaan van der Stel.]

Commander Adriaan van der Stel was directed with a considerable body of
troops to occupy a certain position in territory claimed by the Dutch.
On the march he was surrounded by a Cingalese army, and his whole force,
only four men excepted, was destroyed, 19th of May 1646. His head was
fixed on a stake and exhibited in triumph, and was then rolled in silk
and sent to Joan Maatzuiker, the Dutch governor of Galle.[42]

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Simon van der Stel was not seven years old at the time of his father’s
death. Kolbe says that he was in Ceylon and saw the head of his parent
after the disaster, but nothing is more unlikely. The strong probability
is that upon the arrival of Adriaan van der Stel at Batavia from
Mauritius, or shortly afterwards, he sent his son to Holland to be
educated, as was then the custom, though there is no actual proof of
this. At any rate, at a very early age he was at school in Amsterdam,
and was baptized either there or in Batavia when he was about five years
old. His mother, Monica of the Coast, can no longer be traced, and
whether she had died or remained in Batavia is quite uncertain. The
property accumulated by his father was invested by the orphanmasters for
his benefit, but it was inconsiderable, and he might have been destitute
had not the directors of the East India Company regarded him as their
protégé on account of his parent’s losing his life in their service. The
Indian blood in his veins was no detriment whatever to him.

[Sidenote: Early Life of Simon van der Stel.]

Like most mixed breeds he was exceedingly proud of the nationality of
his father, and as he advanced in stature was inclined in everything to
be more intensely Dutch than anyone of pure blood born in the
Netherlands could be. Yet as he possessed a large share of sound common
sense, he never made such a silly display of his proclivities in this
respect as most half-breeds are in the habit of doing. Who has not been
irritated by the forwardness and foolish remarks of such people? At
breakfast one morning recently in a London hotel, a hideous mulatto
woman at one of the tables provoked the disgust of all the others seated
in the same room by finding fault with everything, and asserting in very
broad Scotch that “we do this very differently in Scotland.” Of such
conduct Simon van der Stel was never guilty. He grew up to be a man
under the medium stature, and of a dark complexion, with an open
cheerful countenance, but no other indications of his personal
appearance can now be found.

He married Johanna Jacoba, daughter of Willem Six and his wife Catharina
Hinlopen, a respectable family of Amsterdam, by whom he became the
father of six children: Willem Adriaan, prominent in Cape history,
Adriaan, who became governor of Amboina and the adjacent islands,
Catharina, Frans, Hendrik, and Cornelis. The last named left the Cape
for Batavia in January 1694 in the _Ridderschap_, and was never again
heard of, but it was supposed that the ship was wrecked on the coast of
Madagascar and that he had perished there.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The directors of the East India Company assisted their protégé as much
as they could in Holland, and at length when the situation of head of
the Cape settlement was vacant, they offered it to him. He accepted the
offer gladly, for it gave him a promise of financial improvement, and
with his four eldest sons he embarked in the ship _Vrije Zee_ and
reached South Africa in October 1679, when he was nearly forty years of
age. His lady with his daughter and his youngest son remained behind in
Amsterdam, and he never saw his wife or daughter again.

The system of the East India Company of paying its officials was a bad
one, for their salaries were very small indeed, and they depended upon
perquisites to put by anything. And at the Cape there were not so many
opportunities of making money by perquisites as in India, so that few
men of ability cared to stay here long. When Simon van der Stel arrived
in South Africa he had only the rank of a commander, which carried with
it a salary in money less than a junior clerk receives to-day, but he
had a furnished residence, a table allowance besides ample rations of
food and even delicacies, slaves provided for servants, horses and a
carriage free of charge, and he had liberty to trade in certain articles
on his own account. Thus he could purchase a bale of calico or a crate
of crockery from the captain of one ship and sell it to the captain of
another, but he was not at liberty to deal in a single nutmeg or a pound
of pepper, the traffic in spices being strictly reserved for the Company
itself. He was prohibited also from carrying on farming operations or
speculating in cattle, as the Company was desirous of encouraging

[Sidenote: Abuses in India.]

When Simon van der Stel became commander the settlement comprised only
the cultivated ground at the foot of Table Mountain, two little outposts
of the Company at Saldanha Bay and Hottentots-Holland, a cattle station
of the Company at the Tigerberg, and land beyond the isthmus on which
seven burghers were experimenting in cattle breeding. He is almost as
much entitled to be termed the founder of the colony as Van Riebeek is,
for Stellenbosch, the Paarl, Drakenstein, and French Hoek were occupied
under his supervision. Of course in neither case was what they did a
mere act of their own will: they simply carried out honestly and
faithfully the instructions of the directors of the Company, who
provided the people and the means that were needed. But to those who
maintain that no good can be accomplished by men of mixed European and
Asiatic blood, it may be pointed out that Simon van der Stel was a model
ruler, able, industrious, energetic, honest, and absolutely faithful to
the trust reposed in him. The only glaring fault in his character, and
even that did not become conspicuous until he was advanced in years, was
an inordinate love of money and a readiness to adopt measures to obtain
it that to men of the present day seem beneath the dignity of a high
official. But to Netherlanders of those times it did not appear
incorrect for a man of position to make money in any way not legally

At this time so many abuses had crept into the administration of the
Company’s affairs in Hindostan and Ceylon that the directors considered
it advisable to adopt very drastic measures to rectify them. For this
purpose they appointed a commission of three members to examine into
matters there, and at its head they placed the very ablest officer in
their service, a man in whose integrity they could implicitly rely, to
whom they gave all the powers of a dictator. His name was Hendrik
Adriaan van Rheede tot Drakenstein, but he was more commonly known by
his title of lord of Mydrecht.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Before he left Europe he was requested to visit the Cape settlement
also, and had supreme power conferred upon him while here. Only twice
during the whole term of the East India Company’s rule in South Africa
has any one with the authority of the lord of Mydrecht visited the
colony: on this occasion and in 1792-3, when the high commissioners
Nederburgh and Frykenius exercised an unqualified dictatorship. It was a
tremendous trust to bestow upon any individual. Under the commission or
general power of attorney which he held, the lord of Mydrecht could
appoint or displace any officials, create any new office or dispense
with any old one, suspend or alter any law or regulation, and issue new
laws, with the assurance that all he might do in this respect would be
confirmed and ratified by the Assembly of Seventeen.

The lord of Mydrecht was in Capetown from the 19th of April to the 16th
of July 1685, and during that time he made many new laws, most of which
proved to be beneficial, though a few were not in accordance with the
spirit of our day.[44] These, however, need not be referred to here:
what is necessary to be mentioned is his making a grant of land to Simon
van der Stel. He found that official performing excellent service, and
throwing his whole heart into his duty, while receiving only the
trifling salary and the emoluments of a commander. If he had raised his
salary and increased his emoluments, every other official of similar
rank in the service would have claimed to be dealt with in the same way,
and he did not see fit to promote him to the rank of governor and give
him the larger income which that office carried with it. Instead of
doing this, he suspended the orders of the directors of the 26th of
April 1668, which forbade the commander and the members of the council
from cultivating more ground than a little garden and owning more cattle
than they needed for their own use,[45] and on the 13th of July 1685 he
granted to Simon van der Stel eight hundred and ninety-one morgen and a
fraction of ground just beyond Wynberg in full property. This estate the
commander named Constantia, and it has been so called ever since.

[Sidenote: Promotion of Simon van der Stel.]

The circumstances of this grant were peculiar. Simon van der Stel and
some of the other officials deserved encouragement, and the lord of
Mydrecht regarded this as the easiest way of rewarding them, though no
one but the commander availed himself of it. The Huguenot and Dutch
immigrants of a few years later were still unthought of, and the demand
for produce of all kinds was so much greater than the few colonists then
in the country could meet that there was not the slightest fear of the
officials competing with the burghers. The land granted too was so close
to the castle that it could be reached in little more than an hour, so
that the owner need never be absent from his duty or pass a night away
from his residence. For these reasons the directors confirmed the grant,
but they took the precaution of announcing a few years later that it was
an exceptional one and that the law of 1668 was still in full force.

Simon van der Stel, promoted to be governor in June 1691, with a salary
of £16 13_s._ 4_d._ a month, and in 1692 to be councillor extraordinary
of Netherlands India, a position which added to his emoluments as well
as to his dignity, remained at the head of the administration of the
Cape Colony until February 1699, when at his own request, made in 1696,
he retired, and he spent the remainder of his life upon his farm
Constantia, where he died on the 24th of June 1712.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

As a mark of the estimation in which he was held by the directors, on
the 26th of September 1697 they appointed his eldest son, Willem Adriaan
van der Stel, to be his successor, with the full title, salary, and
emoluments which the retiring official had earned by his long and
faithful services.[46] On the 31st of July 1698 the newly appointed
governor received at Amsterdam his final instructions from the
directors, and parted from them with their good wishes for his welfare.
He and his family left Holland with the first ship that sailed
thereafter for India, and in January 1699 reached Capetown, but he was
not installed in office until the 11th of February.

What kind of man Willem Adriaan van der Stel was in person cannot be
ascertained from any document in the archives of the Netherlands or of
the Cape Colony, or from anything contained in the vast mass of printed
matter of the period concerning him. He may have been tall and stout or
he may have been small, he may have been darker coloured than his
father, for atavism sometimes plays curious freaks in this respect, or
he may have been as light skinned as a pure Netherlander: there are no
means of getting information on this now. But one thing can be said of
him with certainty: that before he became governor of the Cape Colony he
had borne a good character, and had not displayed those vices which at a
later date made his name infamous. There is a Dutch proverb _De
gelegenheid dieven en moordenaars maakt_, Opportunity makes thieves and
murderers, and in his case the opportunity was wanting as long as he
resided in Amsterdam. He had been an official in that city for ten
years, had even been a schepen, and if his conduct had not been
upright--outwardly at least--he would not have secured the favour of the
directors of the East India Company, men who knew him well personally.

[Sidenote: Condition of the Settlement.]

The condition of the settlement was at this time very different from
what it had been when his father arrived. The Huguenot refugees had come
from Europe and been located in the lovely valleys where so many of
their descendants still reside. An even greater number of Dutch families
and orphan girls had migrated to South Africa, and had been located side
by side with the French or by themselves around the Tigerberg, so that
all the land as far as the Groeneberg beyond the present village of
Wellington was occupied, though sparsely. There were three separate
congregations in the settlement, though as yet there was a church
building at Stellenbosch only. In Capetown divine service was still held
in a hall in the castle, and at Drakenstein in a farmer’s house or under
an improvised screen. Wheatfields, vineyards, orchards, and gardens were
scattered over the land, each with a thatched cottage on its border,
cattle and sheep grazed on the hill sides, and here and there young oaks
were beginning to beautify the scene. The view was fair, but concord was
wanting in the settlement. Between the Dutch and the French there was
little goodwill, for national prejudices kept them from being real
friends, though a few intermarriages had already taken place.

The Dutch reformed--identical with the French evangelical--was the state
church, and all officials were required to be members of it. No other
public worship was tolerated. But there was no inquisition, and in a
man’s own house he was free to worship God in any manner he pleased.
This was the system of the Northern Netherlands, and it was the system
of the Cape Colony. No Roman Catholic was sent out as an emigrant, but
there were some of that creed in the Company’s service, and when any of
these took their discharge in South Africa they were not interfered
with, provided they exercised their devotions within doors. By their
fellow citizens, however, they were not favourably regarded, for their
tenets were supposed to be dangerous to freedom.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The farmers knew no want of plain wholesome food, but they were fain to
be content with few luxuries. Their dwellings were in general small and
to modern ideas scantily furnished, as they had not been here long
enough to acquire the means to provide more than was barely necessary
for shelter and the simplest needs. The picturesque and commodious
houses with their ornamented gables and high stoeps, now so much
admired, only made their appearance when more than half a century from
the arrival of Willem Adriaan van der Stel had passed away, and with
them was first seen the massive furniture still occasionally met with.
Lying in the loft or on the beams of most of the cottages was a coffin,
kept in readiness for its eventual purpose, but used in the mean time as
a receptacle for odds and ends.[47]

The farming utensils were extremely crude, the plough especially, with
but one stilt, being as clumsy as it well could be. Black slaves had
been introduced, but were not yet numerous, and Hottentots in
considerable bands still roamed over the pastures beyond the settlement,
some of whom occasionally took service with the colonists in order to
obtain tobacco and strong drink.

The country people were almost exclusively occupied in agricultural or
pastoral pursuits. One of the Huguenot immigrants, Isaac Taillefer by
name, found time from the care of his vineyard to manufacture coarse
felt hats, and some of the women spun yarn and knitted socks and
stockings. What leather was needed was tanned by the farmers themselves,
whose womenfolk also made what soap and candles were required for home
use. Here and there one acted as a blacksmith, a waggonmaker, a
carpenter, or a shoemaker, in addition to looking after his farm, but as
yet there was no scope for mechanical industry on a large scale. The
farmers were in the habit of visiting each others’ houses frequently,
and on such occasions the men were entertained with wine and tobacco and
the women with coffee or tea.[48] At meal times visitors were invited to
partake as a matter of course.

[Sidenote: Life in the Cape Colony.]

It was a simple condition of life, not favourable to great expansion of
the mind, and not free from care, but not necessarily attended with

Mixed with these worthy colonists was a sprinkling of men of loose
habits, mostly deserters from the garrison in Capetown or from ships, or
who had been discharged from the Company’s service without proper
caution. These men professed to desire to take service with the farmers,
but were in general vagabonds and a pest to the community. Yet no one
cared to give them up to justice, for it was regarded as the duty of the
government, not of the colonists, to apprehend them and punish them for
crime or expel them from the country as vagrants.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The directors of the East India Company were desirous of increasing the
number of colonists, as they required larger supplies of provisions than
had hitherto been obtainable at the Cape, and they also wished to
strengthen the defensive force here in case of an attack by an enemy.
They were still sending out a few Huguenots almost every year, mixed
with a larger number of Dutch, but the ill-feeling between the two
nationalities in the colony, and more than this the menacing attitude of
the French king towards the Netherlands, with the suspicion that perhaps
the refugees might not prove loyal to a country that gave shelter and
religious dominance indeed, but that in language, customs, and form of
government was foreign and strange,[49] caused them to alter their plans
soon after the new governor was installed in office. On the 16th of June
1700 they appointed a commission to consider the matter, and in
conformity with the report sent in, on the 22nd of the same month they
adopted a resolution to authorise the different chambers to send out
men, women, and children, providing them with free passages, but taking
care that they were either Dutch citizens or subjects of a German state
not carrying on commerce by sea, that they were either of the reformed
or of the Lutheran faith, and that they were agriculturists or
vinedressers; but not to send out any more French.[50]

[Sidenote: Emigration to South Africa.]

Emigration to South Africa, according to the terms of this resolution,
continued until the 15th of July 1707, when it was stopped,[51] and from
that date onward the European population of the colony was increased
only by natural means and by the discharge of servants of the Company.

On the 27th of June 1699 the directors had strictly prohibited the
members of the council of policy and of the high court of justice from
trading in cattle in any way,[52] so that the interests of the colonists
seemed to them to be firmly secured. The chief officials, forbidden to
carry on agriculture or cattle breeding on their own account and to
speculate in oxen and sheep, could not do any damage to the farmers by
competing with them. In the large garden in Table Valley experiments
were being made at the Company’s expense in the cultivation of foreign
and indigenous plants, so that the colonists could learn without cost
what was most proper to cultivate and how to cultivate it. More
favourable terms could hardly be offered to suitable emigrants: free
transport, grant of land in freehold without charge, security against

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Unfortunately the colonists were ignorant of the last of these
conditions, for the orders of the directors were kept concealed from
them. Every member of the council of policy was sworn to secrecy, and
the contents of no document were made known without the governor’s
order. With our knowledge, now that the old records are open for
examination, it is with a feeling akin to amazement that we observe in
the struggle for justice about to be recorded that the burghers made no
use of a weapon which would at once have demolished their opponent, and
employed only instruments feebler in every way because they were not so
capable of being handled. More than once during the administration of
the Dutch East India Company in South Africa, the burghers complained,
and with reason, that they did not know by what laws they were governed.
Here was a case in point. A wise and salutary law, a law making
provision against gross oppression and wrong, was a dead letter for
years because it was kept concealed in inaccessible archives, and could
therefore be violated with impunity by faithless officials.



[Sidenote: Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel.]

Willem Adriaan--or Wilhem Adriaen as he wrote his given name--van der
Stel, councillor extraordinary of Netherlands India and governor of the
Cape Colony and its dependency the island of Mauritius, had resided here
for several years after his arrival with his father in October 1679, and
had held different situations in the public service, so that he was well
acquainted with the condition of the country. In the proceedings of the
council of policy he is mentioned on the 16th of December 1680 as
receiving the appointments of secretary of the orphan chamber and of the
matrimonial court, on the 19th of April 1682 as having acted as issuer
of stores and as being then promoted to be a book-keeper, and on the
26th of December 1682 as being issuer of stores and then promoted to be
treasurer.[53] After a sojourn here of several years he returned to
Amsterdam, but the exact date of his removal is unknown. He was
accompanied to South Africa when he became governor by his wife, Maria
de Haase by name, and several children.

Notwithstanding the pains taken by the late governor to promote
tree-planting, there was a scarcity of timber and fuel at the Cape. It
was a difficult matter to supply the ships with firewood. Some skippers
reported that in passing by two islands, named Dina and Marseveen, in
latitude 41° or 42° south, and about four hundred sea miles from the
Cape, they had observed fine forests, which they suggested should be
examined. The master of the galiot _Wezel_ was thereupon instructed to
proceed to the locality indicated, to inspect the forests carefully, and
ascertain what quantity of timber was to be had. The _Wezel_ sailed from
Table Bay on the 31st of March 1699, but returned on the 13th of May
with a report that the search for the islands had been fruitless.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The governor had instructions from the directors to attend more
carefully to arboriculture than had yet been done, and they complained
that if a sufficient number of trees had been planted in earlier years
there would be no necessity to send timber from Europe for housebuilding
purposes and no want of fuel for the ships. These instructions he
carried out, and during the first winter after his arrival twenty
thousand young oaks were planted in the kloofs at Stellenbosch and
Drakenstein, where the native forests had been exhausted, and over ten
thousand were set out in the Cape peninsula. In the winter of 1701 a
further supply was sent to Stellenbosch from the nursery in Table
Valley, and the landdrost was instructed to have them planted along the

On the 23rd of November 1699 the governor with a party of attendants set
out on a tour of inspection of the settlement. He visited Stellenbosch,
Drakenstein, and the farms about the Tigerberg, where he found some
persons to whom no ground had yet been allotted. The country was
inhabited by Europeans, though thinly, nearly as far as the present
village of Hermon. Small Hottentot kraals were scattered about, of which
the occupants were found to be very poor and very lazy.

Keeping down the Berg river, the range of mountains on the right was
reported to be tenanted by Bushmen, who were in the habit of descending
from their fastnesses and plundering the burghers and Hottentots below.
The range was on this account known as the Obiqua mountains. The
governor crossed over at a place since termed the Roodezand pass, just
beyond the gorge through which the Little Berg river flows, and entered
the valley now called the Tulbagh basin.

[Sidenote: Description of the Tulbagh Basin.]

Though not greatly elevated, this basin is in the second of the steps by
which the mainland of South Africa rises from the ocean to the central
plain. If a cane with a large round head be laid upon soft ground, the
mark will give an idea of its form. The hollow caused by the head of the
cane will represent the basin, the long narrow groove will indicate the
valley between the Obiqua mountains and a parallel range ten or eleven
kilometres farther inland. The Breede river has its source in the third
terrace, and, rushing down a gorge in the interior range, now called
Michell’s pass, flows south-eastward through the valley. Close to
Michell’s pass the mountain retires, but shortly sweeps round and joins
the Obiqua range, the keystone of the arch thus formed being the Great
Winterhoek, two thousand and eighty-five metres in height, the loftiest
peak visible from Capetown.

It was the basin thus enclosed that the governor and his party entered.
It was found to be drained by the Little Berg river and its numerous
tributary rills, whose waters escape through a gorge in the Obiqua
mountains, and flow north-westward. The watershed between the Breede and
Little Berg rivers is merely a gentle swell in the surface of the
ground. At the foot of Michell’s pass, at the present day, a mill-race
is led out of the Breede and turned into the Little Berg, and thus a few
shovelsful of earth can divert water from the Indian to the Atlantic

The basin excels all other parts of South Africa in the variety and
beauty of its wild flowers, which in early spring almost conceal the
ground. It was too late in the season for the governor’s party to see it
at its best, still the visitors were charmed with its appearance. Very
few Hottentots were found. In the recesses of the mountains were
forests of magnificent trees, and although the timber could not be
removed to the Cape, it would be of great use to residents. Immigrants
were arriving in every fleet from the Netherlands, so the governor
resolved to form a settlement in the valley, where cattle breeding could
be carried on to advantage. Agriculture, except to supply the wants of
residents, could not be pursued with profit, owing to the difficulty of
transport. The governor named the basin the Land of Waveren, in honour
of a family of position in Amsterdam. The range of mountains enclosing
the valley on the inland side and stretching away as far as the eye
could reach, as yet without a name, he called the Witsenberg, after the
justly-esteemed burgomaster Nicolaas Witsen of Amsterdam. The land of
Waveren has long since become the Tulbagh basin, but one may be allowed
to hope that the Witsenberg will always be known by the honoured name it
has borne since 1699.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Several burghers who had been living at Drakenstein were now permitted
to graze their cattle at Riebeek’s Kasteel, and on the 31st of July 1700
some recent immigrants from Europe were sent to occupy the land of
Waveren. As it was the rainy season, the families of the immigrants
remained at the Cape until rough cottages could be put up for their
accommodation. At the same time a corporal and six soldiers were sent to
form a military post in the valley for the protection of the colonists.
This post was termed the Waveren outstation, and was maintained for many
years. On the 16th of October several additional families were forwarded
to the new district to obtain a living as graziers.

For a time after his arrival the Company’s garden in Table Valley was
kept by the new governor in the same state of cultivation as that in
which his father left it. To its former attractions he added a
museum--chiefly of skeletons and stuffed animals--and a small menagerie
of wild animals of the country, to which purposes one of the enclosed
spaces at the upper end was devoted. Near the centre of the garden he
erected a lodge for the reception of distinguished visitors and for his
own recreation, which building by enlargement and alterations in later
years became the governor’s town residence.

[Sidenote: Illegal Cattle Trade.]

As the garden in Capetown was thus reduced in size, and that at
Rondebosch did not produce as large a quantity of vegetables and fruit
as was required for the hospital, the garrison, and the ships, in the
winter of 1700 Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel caused a new one to
be laid out a short distance beyond Rustenburg, and spent much money in
its ornamentation. As originally planned, this garden and the
plantations attached to it covered forty morgen of ground; but in course
of time from twenty to thirty morgen more were added to it. A
superintendent was stationed here with assistants and a strong party of
slaves, by whose labour the place soon became exceedingly attractive. In
this garden, which bore the name of Newlands, a small lodge was erected,
which grew half a century later into the favourite country residence of
the governors.

Ever since 1658 trade between the burghers and the Hottentots was
strictly forbidden. The chief object was to prevent any act that might
bring on a collision with the nomadic people or irritate them in any
way. In opposition to the law, however, parties of deserters and other
persons of loose character carried on a cattle trade, and were often
guilty of conduct that cannot be distinguished from robbery. Governor
Simon van der Stel thought to check this by threatening more severe
punishment, and on the 19th of October 1697 he issued a placaat in which
the barter of cattle from Hottentots was prohibited, under penalty of
whipping, branding, banishment, and confiscation of property.

The directors disapproved of this. They wished to encourage the
colonists, and for that purpose they had already, on the 14th of July
1695, issued instructions that their own farming operations should be
gradually discontinued, and that the cultivation of the vine and wheat
together with the rearing of cattle should be left entirely to the
burghers. They were now disposed to allow the colonists to purchase
cattle from the Hottentots and fatten them for sale to such persons as
would contract to supply the hospital, the garrison, and the ships with
beef and mutton. They therefore annulled the placaat, and on the 27th of
June 1699 issued instructions that the cattle trade should be thrown
open, care being taken that the Hottentots suffered no ill-treatment in
connection with it. Servants of the Company having seats in the council
of policy or in the court of justice were excluded from this trade, and
forbidden to supply meat for the public service.[54]

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

This order reached Capetown by the flute _De Boer_ on the 24th of
November, but the governor, who paid little regard to the instructions
of the directors when they clashed with his own interests, did not make
it known at the time. After long delay tenders were called for, and in
February 1700 the burgher Henning Huising entered into a contract to
supply the garrison, hospital, and Company’s fleets with beef and mutton
at 5½d. a kilogramme, he to have the use of the Company’s slaughter
houses, and as a cattle run the whole of the district of Groenekloof
that was not occupied by Hottentots. The contract was signed
provisionally for ten years, but the directors reduced it to five. With
this transaction the Company designed to relinquish sending out
expeditions to purchase cattle, as had been the custom for nearly half
a century; and henceforth it was only when working oxen were needed in
greater numbers than the burghers could supply that military bartering
parties went out. By a placaat of the council of policy presided over by
the commissioner Wouter Valckenier, on the 28th of February 1700 the
trade was thrown open to the burghers, with such restrictions as were
considered necessary to prevent its abuse.

[Sidenote: Training of the Colonists.]

From this date cattle-breeding became a favourite pursuit with yearly
increasing numbers or colonists. There was as much to be made by it as
by agriculture, and it was attended with less expense and less anxiety.
The government gave permission to applicants to use land for grazing
purposes at some defined locality north or north-east of Stellenbosch,
but if the pasture failed or did not prove as good as was anticipated,
the occupiers did not hesitate to seek other and better places. East of
the Hottentots-Holland mountains permission was not given to the
burghers in general to graze oxen and sheep until after the governor’s
recall in 1707, as he kept the pastures there as far as the Ziekenhuis
in one direction and Zoetendal’s Vlei in another for his own use and
that of one of his brothers. In defiance of the instructions or the 27th
of June 1699 and of the avowed policy of the Company at the time, he
himself was rapidly becoming a cattle farmer on a very extensive scale.

Many men and women were thus undergoing a special training for pushing
their way deeper into the continent. They were learning to relish a diet
of little else than animal food, and to use the flesh of game largely in
order to spare their flocks and herds. They were becoming accustomed
also to live in tent waggons for months together, so that the want of
houses soon ceased to be regarded as a matter of much hardship by these
dwellers in the wilds. They were acquiring a fondness for the healthy
life of the open country, with its freedom from care and restraint, and
its simple pleasures. For the town, with its government officials and
law agents and tradesmen and speculators of many kinds always seeking to
take advantage of their simplicity, they acquired such a dislike that
they never visited it when they could avoid doing so. They took with
them no other books than the bible and the psalms in metre, so their
children came to regard education in secular subjects as entirely
unnecessary. In self-reliance, however, they were receiving the most
complete training possible. The tastes and habits which were thus formed
were transmitted to their offspring, and in a few generations there was
a body of frontiersmen adapted, as no other Europeans ever were, for
acting as the pioneers of civilisation in such a country as South

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

To encourage the cattle breeders, no rent for ground was charged until
1714, and no other tax than the one for district purposes was laid upon
their stock. A little experience proved that occasional change of
pasture was advantageous in the rearing of oxen and sheep, and the
authorities made no objection to the graziers going yearly for three or
four months to a tract of land far from that on which they lived at
other times. This grew into a custom for each one to select as winter
grazing ground a particular part of the karoo on the third terrace
upward from the sea, his right to which was respected by all the others,
though it was not directly recognised by the government.

With the enlargement of the settlement, fresh troubles arose with the
Bushmen. In March 1701 a band of those people drove off forty head of
cattle from Gerrit Cloete’s farm at Riebeek’s Kasteel. A commando of ten
soldiers and thirty burghers was sent after the depredators, but was
unable to find them. A temporary military post was then established at
Vogelvlei, at the foot of the Obiqua mountains.

This protection soon proved insufficient. In April Gerrit Cloete was
again robbed, and eleven head of cattle were lifted from the Waveren
post. A commando of twelve soldiers and fifty burghers was then
organised to clear the country of Bushmen, but did not succeed in
effecting its object. It was hardly disbanded when one hundred and
thirty-seven head of cattle were lifted within sight of the Vogelvlei
post. Upon this a reinforcement of six mounted soldiers was sent to each
of the two posts already occupied, and twelve men were stationed at
Riebeek’s Kasteel.

[Sidenote: Strife with the Bushmen.]

The Goringhaiqua and Cochoqua Hottentots now tendered their services to
assist the Europeans against the Bushmen, and requested that the captain
Kees, who was then living at Groenekloof, might be recognised as their
leader in the expedition. But it was discovered that Kees, who had
suffered severely from the Bushmen, had already joined a commando of
Gerrit Cloete’s friends, and that the joint force was scouring the
Obiqua mountains. On receipt of this information, the governor sent
instructions to the landdrost of Stellenbosch to have Cloete arrested
and brought to trial for waging war without leave, and to ascertain and
send in the names of those who had joined him in the expedition.

The prosecution fell through, and the governor thought it best after
this to send out only parties of soldiers against the robbers. In
September one of these parties recovered a hundred and twenty head of
cattle belonging partly to burghers and partly to Hottentots; but in the
following month more than two hundred head belonging to the contractor
Henning Huising were lifted at Groenekloof, and a patrol of thirty-five
soldiers was obliged to fall back from Piketberg, where the Bushmen made
a resolute stand.

In November a sergeant and ten men were sent to form a permanent
military post at Groenekloof. In the land of Waveren forty head of
cattle, mostly belonging to Etienne Terreblanche, were seized by
Bushmen, and one of the soldiers who tried to recover them was killed.
Two hundred and seventy-four head belonging to Hottentot kraals at
Riebeek’s Kasteel were driven off, but a party of soldiers followed the
robbers to Twenty-four Rivers, and retook most of the spoil. In trying
to afford protection, no distinction was made by the government between
burghers and Hottentots, the officers at the outposts being instructed
to do their utmost to recover cattle stolen by Bushmen and deliver them
to their proper owners, whoever these might be.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

In 1702 the military patrols were kept busy on behalf of the Hottentots,
for no complaints of depredations were made by burghers. A large number
of cattle were recovered and restored to various kraals, and so many
Bushmen were shot that those who were left seem to have been terrified.
At any rate they gave less trouble during the next few years, though
occasionally it was considered necessary to chastise them. The sergeants
and corporals in command of the outposts were directed to endeavour to
induce the Bushmen to keep the peace. When those wild people committed
depredations they were to be followed up and punished, but under no
circumstances were they to be attacked without provocation. The ruthless
nature of the warfare pursued by the Bushmen was exemplified in February
1702, when a Hottentot captain came to the castle and reported that they
had killed five of his wives and every one of his children.

There is little else on record concerning the Hottentots at this period.
Some of them made such complaints of the rapacity and violence of
burgher trading parties that the council of policy provisionally
suspended the liberty of free barter, and, owing to the governor’s
representations, in 1703 the assembly of seventeen withdrew the
privilege. Commercial intercourse between the two races was again made
illegal, and the European graziers were chiefly depended upon to provide
as many cattle as were needed.

In September 1704 several Namaqua captains visited the Cape, when an
agreement of friendship was made with them. This tribe, like the others
with which the Europeans had come in contact, at once accepted as a
matter of course the position of vassals. This was shown in October
1705, when three Namaqua captains came to the castle for the purpose of
requesting the governor to confirm their authority. They were kindly
treated, their request was complied with, and they left carrying with
them presents of beads and other trifles and copper-headed canes upon
which the new names given to them--Plato, Jason, and Vulcan--were
inscribed. Thenceforth they were termed allies of the honourable
Company. The number of captains mentioned as having applied for staffs
is an indication that the tribes were now more broken up than formerly.
Sometimes a clan requested the appointment of a regent, as its
hereditary captain was a minor. There are instances of clans applying
for a brother of a deceased captain to be appointed in his stead, but in
such cases they always gave as a reason that the dead chief had left no
children. Feuds between clans of the same tribe caused frequent
disturbances, though these same clans usually acted together against the
adjoining tribe.

[Sidenote: Ecclesiastical Matters.]

After the removal in 1694 of the reverend Pierre Simond to Drakenstein,
there was no resident clergyman at Stellenbosch for nearly six years.
Once in three months the clergyman of the Cape visited the vacant church
and administered the sacraments, and occasionally Mr. Simond attended
for the same purpose. On the remaining Sundays the sick-comforter
conducted the services. At length the assembly of seventeen appointed
the reverend Hercules van Loon, who had once been acting clergyman of
the Cape, resident clergyman of Stellenbosch. He arrived from the
Netherlands on the 11th of April 1700.

In April 1678 the foundation of a church in Table Valley had been laid,
but with that the work had ceased. For another quarter of a century
services were conducted in a large hall within the castle. But in course
of time the poor funds accumulated to a considerable amount, and the
consistory then consented to apply a sum equal to £2,200 of our money
to the erection of the building. As the original plan was now considered
too small, it was enlarged, and a new foundation stone was laid by the
governor on the 28th of December 1700. By the close of the year 1703 the
edifice was finished, except the tower. The first service in it was held
on the 6th of January 1704, the reverend Petrus Kalden being the
preacher. Of the building then constructed the tower and one of the end
walls still remain, the last forming part of the eastern wall of the
present church.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

At Drakenstein service was conducted sometimes in the front room of a
farmer’s house, sometimes in a large barn, or under a screen, there
being as yet no church building. There was a French clergyman, who was
assisted by a French sick-comforter. In April 1700 a sick-comforter and
schoolmaster was first appointed for the Dutch portion of the
congregation, that had previously been neglected. An able and zealous
man named Jacobus de Groot, who was returning from India to Europe, was
detained here for the purpose.

The reverend Mr. Simond had prepared a new version in metre of the
psalms of David, which he was desirous of submitting to a synod of the
French churches, as great interest had been taken in the work by the
Huguenots in Europe. He therefore tendered his resignation, to the
regret of the Drakenstein people, and requested permission to return to
the Netherlands. The assembly of seventeen consented to his request, on
condition of his remaining until the arrival of the reverend Hendrik
Bek, whom they appointed to succeed him. Mr. Bek reached the Cape in
April 1702, and was installed at Drakenstein a few weeks later.

There was a desire on the part of the directors that in the families of
the Huguenot immigrants the French language should be superseded by the
Dutch as speedily as possible. It was only a question of time, for the
proportion of French-speaking people was too small compared with those
of Dutch and German descent for their language to remain long in use in
the mixed community. To expedite its decay the new clergyman was
directed to conduct the public services in Dutch, though he had been
selected because he was conversant with French and could therefore
admonish, comfort, and pray with the aged Huguenots who understood no
other tongue. Instructions were at the same time sent out that the
school children were to be taught to read and write Dutch only. The
sick-comforter Paul Roux was not prevented, however, from ministering to
the Huguenots of any age in whichever tongue was most familiar to them.

[Sidenote: Ecclesiastical Matters.]

This arrangement created much dissatisfaction. The French immigrants
sent in a memorial requesting that Mr. Bek should be instructed to
preach in their language once a fortnight. They stated that they
comprised over a hundred adults, not more than twenty-five of whom
understood sufficient Dutch to gather the meaning of a sermon. There was
also even a larger number of children of their nationality. The council
of policy recommended the memorial to the favourable consideration of
the assembly of seventeen; but before action could be taken upon it, Mr.
Bek requested to be removed to Stellenbosch as successor to Mr. Van
Loon, who died by his own hand on the 27th of June 1704. The directors
then appointed the reverend Engelbertus Franciscus le Boucq[55]
clergyman of Drakenstein, and gave instructions that upon his arrival
from Batavia Mr. Bek should be transferred to Stellenbosch. They gave
the council of policy permission to allow the French language to be
used alternately with the Dutch in the church services at Drakenstein,
if it should seem advisable to do so.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The newly appointed minister did not reach the Cape until the 30th of
March 1707. Mr. Bek then took charge of the Stellenbosch congregation,
which had been for nearly three years without a clergyman, except once
in three months when he had preached and administered the sacraments.
Mr. Le Boucq should have taken up the duties in the parish to which he
had been appointed, but instead of doing so, he got into difficulties at
the Cape, as will be related in another chapter, and Drakenstein was for
several years without a resident clergyman.

In the evening of the 3rd of April 1702 the outward bound ship
_Meresteyn_, an Indiaman of the first class, ran ashore on Jutten
Island, and in less than an hour broke into little pieces. Her skipper
was endeavouring to reach Saldanha Bay, and the ship was in a heavy surf
before any one on board suspected danger. The majority of her crew were
lost, as also were two women and five children passengers for the Cape.
Ninety-nine persons managed to reach the shore.

In March 1702 a marauding party, consisting of forty-five white men and
the same number of Hottentots, whose deeds were afterwards prominently
brought to light, left Stellenbosch, and remained away seven months.
They travelled eastward until they reached the neighbourhood of the Fish
river, where at daylight one morning they were attacked unexpectedly and
without provocation by a band of Xosa warriors who were fugitives from
their own country and were living in friendship with the Hottentots. The
assailants were beaten off, followed up, and when they turned and made
another stand, were defeated again, losing many men. One European was
killed. The party then commenced a career of robbery, excusing their
acts to themselves under the plea that they were undertaken in
retaliation. They fell upon the Gonaquas and other Hottentot hordes,
shot many of them, and drove off their cattle.

The perpetrators of these scandalous acts were not brought to justice.
In after years when the governor and the colonists were at variance, and
each party was endeavouring to blacken the reputation of the other, the
governor stated that they were in league with the colonists and were too
numerous to be punished without ruining half the settlement. This
statement was, however, indignantly contradicted by the most respectable
burghers, who asserted that the marauding Europeans were miscreants
without families or homes, being chiefly fugitives from justice and men
of loose character who had been imprudently discharged from the
Company’s service. The burghers maintained that they ought to have been
punished, and that the real reason why they were not prosecuted was that
the governor’s agents had obtained cattle for him in the same manner,
which would be brought to light at a trial. The names of the forty-five
white men who formed the robber band are given. Forty of them are quite
unknown in South Africa at the present day, and the remaining five are
of that class that cannot be distinguished with certainty, so that the
statements of the burghers are strongly borne out.

[Sidenote: Expedition to Natal.]

Owing chiefly to the scarcity of timber and fuel, in 1705 it was
resolved to send an expedition to Natal and the adjoining coast, to make
an inspection of the country and particularly of the forests there. The
schooner _Centaurus_, which had been built at Natal in 1686-7,
principally of timber growing on the shore of the inlet, was a proof
that the wood was valuable, for she had been in use nearly fourteen
years before needing repair. The galiot _Postlooper_ was made ready for
the expedition. Her master, Theunis van der Schelling, had visited Natal
when he was mate of the _Noord_ in 1689 and 1690, and therefore knew the
harbour. He was instructed to make a thorough exploration of the
forests, and to frame a chart of the coast. A sailor who was expert in
drawing pictures was sent to take sketches of the scenery.

The _Postlooper_ sailed from Table Bay on the 20th of November 1705. She
reached Natal on the 29th of December, and found the bar so silted up
that she could only cross at high water. There were not so many cattle
in the neighbourhood as there had been sixteen years before. Wood still
remained on the shores of the inlet in considerable quantities.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

In December 1689 a purchase of the inlet and surrounding land had been
made from the chief then living at Port Natal, and had been recorded in
a formal contract, two copies of which had been drawn up. The one kept
by the Dutch officers was lost when the _Noord_ was wrecked in January
1690, and the master of the _Postlooper_ had therefore received
instructions to endeavour to procure the other, that had been left with
the chief, in order that a notarial copy might be made. The chief who
sold the ground was dead, and his son was now the head of the tribe or
clan, whichever it may have been. Upon Skipper Van der Schelling making
inquiry of him concerning the document, the chief stated that he knew
nothing about it, and supposed it had been buried with his father’s
other effects. It was evident that he did not recognise the sale as
binding upon him or his people.

At Natal an Englishman was found who gave his name as Vaughan Goodwin,
and who stated that he was a native of London. He had two wives and
several children. His story was that he arrived in February 1699 in a
vessel named the _Fidele_, and with two others had been left behind by
Captain Stadis, who intended to form a settlement there. They were to
purchase ivory from the blacks, for which purpose goods had been left
with them, and were to keep possession of the place until Captain Stadis
should return, which he promised them would certainly be within three
years; but he had not yet made his appearance. In 1700 the blacks some
distance inland had killed the other white men on account of their
having become robbers.

The life which Goodwin was leading seemed so attractive to two of the
_Postlooper’s_ crew that they ran away from the vessel. When crossing
the bar in leaving Natal the galiot lurched, and the tiller struck the
skipper in the chest and hurt him so badly that he became unfit for
duty. There was no one on board who could take his place, so the vessel
returned to the Cape without any further attempt at exploration being
made. She dropped anchor again in Table Bay on the 8th of March 1706.

[Sidenote: Failure to introduce Woolled Sheep.]

The directors were desirous of procuring sheep’s wool from South Africa,
as some samples sent to Europe were pronounced of excellent quality.
They were of opinion that if it could be produced at seventeen pence
halfpenny a kilogramme, they would be able to make a good profit from
it, and the colonists would have another reliable source of income.
Instructions were sent to the government to have this industry taken in
hand by the burghers. But it was not a pursuit that commended itself to
South African farmers at that time. Although a good many European sheep
had been imported in former years, there were very few of pure breed
left, nearly all having been crossed with the large tailed animal. It
was commonly believed that woolled sheep were more subject to scab than
others, and the havoc created by that disease was so great that the
farmers were in constant dread of it. Then there was the expense of
separate herds. Further the carcase of the woolled sheep was not so
valuable as that of the other, so that the graziers who bred for
slaughter could not be induced even to make experiments.

In 1700 the government sent home one hundred and twenty-nine kilogrammes
of wool shorn from sheep belonging to the Company. This was received
with favour, but instead of increasing, the quantity fell off in
succeeding years. In 1703 one small bale was all that could be obtained.
It realised about thirty-two pence English money a kilogramme on the
market in Amsterdam. In 1704 a very small quantity was procured, in 1705
none at all, and in 1706 fifty-two kilogrammes. In the meantime the
governor took the matter in hand as a private speculation. He collected
all the wool-bearing sheep in the settlement at a farm of his own, wrote
to Europe for rams and ewes of good breed and to Java for some Persian
sheep, and was about to give the industry a fair trial when he was

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The governor had previously endeavoured to encourage the production of
silk. He made experiments with the white mulberry, which was found to
grow and thrive well, but the silkworms which he obtained from imported
eggs all died. He then gave up the trial, being of opinion that the
mulberry was in leaf at the wrong season of the year for worms from the
south of Europe.

A less important but more successful experiment made by this governor
was placing partridges and pheasants on Robben Island to breed.

From 1698 to 1705 the seasons were very unfavourable for farming, and no
wheat could be exported. In 1700 it became necessary to import rice from
Java, as there was not sufficient grain in the country for the
consumption of the people and the supply of fresh bread to the crews of
ships. In 1705 the long drought broke up, and the crops were very good;
but as the wheat was being reaped heavy rains set in and greatly damaged
it. There was, however, a surplus above the requirements of the country,
and in 1706 exportation was resumed, and fourteen hundred muids were
sent to Batavia.

The population of the colony was at this time increasing rapidly. The
families of the burghers were generally large, they married at an early
age, and no young women remained single. From Europe every year a few
settlers were received. A custom had come into vogue of allowing
soldiers and convalescent sailors to engage for short periods as
servants to burghers, their wages and cost of maintenance being thus
saved to the Company, while they were at hand in case of need. From a
hundred to a hundred and fifty of the garrison and seamen were commonly
out at service. A great many slaves were being introduced from
Madagascar and Mozambique.

[Sidenote: Condition of Affairs in India.]

The bad seasons tended to produce a spirit of restlessness among the
farming population, which was increased by the conduct of the principal
officers of the government. Between Willem Adriaan van der Stel and the
colonists of South Africa there was not the slightest feeling of
sympathy, nor could there be between men who had a difficulty in making
more than a frugal livelihood and a governor who was unscrupulous in his
manner of acquiring wealth, and who regarded their interests as entirely
subordinate to his own. In all the official documents of the period
during which he was at the head of affairs, and the quantity is great,
there is not a single expression like “our own Netherlanders” of his
father. He requested the directors, indeed, to send out industrious
Zeeland farmers and no more French cadets, but the sentence displays as
little affection for the one as for the other.

The condition of things in the country districts was one of discontent,
mingled with indignation towards the governor and some others, the
reasons for which will presently be explained. In Capetown it was
different. The people there could more easily be kept in restraint, and
were less affected by the causes which at this time tended to produce
intense dissatisfaction among the farmers. Those causes were not
trifling ones, as will be seen in the following pages.

The East India Company had now been a century in existence, and the
honesty and rectitude of conduct which distinguished its officials in
early times were no longer noticeable except in a very few instances.
Its mode of paying its servants, largely by perquisites, had tended to
create a spirit of greed, and most of them were actuated more by the
desire of acquiring wealth with which to retire than of advancing the
interests of the association that employed them. To such an extent was
private trading carried on in the East that the Company feared its
utter ruin would be the result. There were even instances of Indian
produce being sent to Europe in its own ships, and transferred to
smuggling vessels off the coast of Holland, when it was landed and sold
stealthily at rates with which the legitimate trade could not compete.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

In November 1699 the directors found it necessary to instruct the
governor-general and council of India to appoint two of the ablest men
they could find to proceed to the various stations and check the abuses.
They were to be empowered to dismiss from the service all of the
Company’s officials who should be found guilty of abusing their trust,
and to confiscate summarily all goods found in their possession which
they were not entitled to have according to the regulations. They did
not then imagine that the man whom they had recently appointed governor
of the Cape settlement would in coming years prove to be the foremost of
all the offenders in this respect.



[Sidenote: _Faithless Conduct of the Governor._]

Willem Adriaan van der Stel, as soon as he assumed the administration,
looked around for some means of acquiring money. The Cape settlement did
not offer such facilities for this purpose as an Indian island or
province would have done, still there were means for making large
profits on trade even here. One plan that he adopted was by
obtaining--purchasing as he termed it, constraining them to sell, as the
burghers called it--from the poorer viticulturists their wines at from
£3 2_s._ 6_d._ to £4 3_s._ 4_d._ the legger, and selling it to English
and Dutch ships at £28 15_s._ or more. When these transactions were
brought to light in later years, his explanation was that he had
naturally purchased at as low a rate as he could, and that the ships’
people were willing to pay more for wines which he had improved by his
skill than for those which the burghers made quite carelessly.[56] The
farmers asserted that until his own vineyards were productive he bought
and sold in this manner about one hundred leggers yearly; in the _Korte
Deductie_, a kind of excuse for his conduct which he published after his
dismissal, he stated that he had not bought and sold twenty leggers
altogether, and there are no means now of ascertaining which statement
is correct. There may have been nothing actually criminal in dealings of
this kind, but they certainly did not tend to create respect, much less
affection, for a governor who could act in this manner.

This was, however, a small matter compared with the governor’s conduct
in carrying on farming operations on a very large scale on his own
account, in disregard of the Company’s desire to favour the colonists by
relinquishing the breeding of cattle and the cultivation of wheat and
the vine in order that they might have better means of making a living,
and in direct opposition to the express orders of the directors of the
26th of April 1668, the 14th of July 1695, and the 27th of June 1699. In
the first of these instructions the directors had forbidden the members
of the council to have larger gardens or a greater number of cattle than
they required for the use of their own households, and this order had
never been cancelled. The high commissioner Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede,
lord of Mydrecht, had indeed made a grant of Constantia after that date
to the governor’s father, Simon van der Stel, but he possessed very
great and special powers, and the ground was given under circumstances
which no longer existed. No one except the directors themselves or some
official possessing equal authority to that of the lord of Mydrecht
could legally grant land to a governor of the colony.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

In February 1700, when Willem Adriaan van der Stel had been a year at
the head of affairs, a commissioner, Wouter Valckenier by name, holding
authority from the governor-general and council of India to inspect
matters at the Cape and rectify anything that was wrong, on his way from
Batavia to Europe called here, and during his stay took precedence of
all the local officials.[57] What representations were made to him
cannot be ascertained, for there is nothing concerning the matter in the
Cape archives or those at the Hague, but at any rate he made a grant to
the governor of four hundred morgen of ground at Hottentots-Holland, and
signed a title-deed of it. He could not have foreseen the consequences,
for he knew that the policy of the Company at the time was directly
opposed to the head of the government being engaged in farming, and he
could not have imagined that an official, whose duties required his
presence at the castle almost constantly, would so far forget his
obligations as to leave his post and devote his time and attention to
private affairs. Probably he thought that the possession of a tract of
land at such a distance could signify very little, but he realised
afterwards that he had made a great mistake, for he was one of the
directors of the Company when the grant was annulled on the ground of
its having been improperly and fraudulently obtained.

[Sidenote: Farms held by Heads of the Government.]

Of the two precedents for heads of the government holding farms--not
mere gardens--at the Cape,[58] both dated from a time when the
settlement was very small, and the land assigned was so close to Table
Valley that it could be cultivated without detriment to the public
service. There was no precedent for a grant to a commander or a governor
at such a distance from the fort or the castle that it could not be
visited in a couple of hours. The policy of the directors recently made
known was entirely opposed to such grants, and Willem Adriaan van der
Stel was perfectly acquainted with that fact, as has already been shown.
This policy remained unaltered ever afterwards. It was again impressed
upon the governor in the strongest language in a despatch from the
directors dated the 28th of October 1705, in which instructions were
given that all the burghers should be permitted to tender for the supply
of the beef and mutton required by the Company, that this should be
regarded as a right belonging exclusively to them, and that no servant
of the Company, the governor included, should be allowed to supply any
meat to the ships, the hospital, etc., directly or indirectly.[59]

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The farm at Hottentots-Holland the governor named Vergelegen. He lost no
time in turning it to account, for he immediately began to build upon
it, to break up and cultivate the ground, and to adorn it in every
possible way. The choicest plants from the Company’s gardens were
removed to it, and the Company’s master gardener, Jan Hertog by name,
was sent there to lay out the grounds and superintend the work.[60]
Great gangs of slaves and a large number of soldiers and convalescent
sailors, who were skilful agriculturists or mechanics,[61] were
constantly at work there, until the farm, which he expanded to six
hundred and thirteen morgen, assumed the appearance of the most highly
cultivated ground in South Africa.

[Sidenote: Extensive Farming Operations.]

On it were planted over four hundred thousand vines, or fully one-fourth
of the whole number in the colony in 1706. Groves, orchards, and corn
lands were laid out to a corresponding extent.[62] On the estate were
built a very commodious dwelling-house, 82·4 by 74 English feet or 25·11
by 22·55 metres in size and with walls 19½ English feet or 5·94 metres
in height, forming a storey and a half as it is termed at the Cape, a
flour mill, a leather tannery, a workshop for making wooden water pipes,
wine and grain stores, an overseer’s cottage, a slave lodge, and very
extensive out-buildings.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Beyond the mountains he had eighteen cattle stations or runs, on which
he kept fully a thousand head of horned cattle and over eighteen
thousand sheep.[63]

With the instructions of the directors before him, it is difficult to
imagine how a sane man could have embarked in such an enterprise. If it
should become known, he must be ruined, for his friends and connections
in Amsterdam, though influential, could not support him in opposing the
highest authority. His only hope must therefore have been that his
transactions would never be known in Holland. No ships’ officers were
likely to see, or perhaps even to hear of, Vergelegen and the cattle
stations, and no one in South Africa, he must have thought, would be
likely to report upon it. The burghers knew nothing of the orders that
had been issued--that is very evident,--and probably he thought that
they supposed he was permitted to farm on such a scale. No information
was ever sent by him to the directors concerning Vergelegen, and the
utmost care was taken that in no official document of any kind, of which
duplicates had to be sent to Europe or India, was mention made of the
place or of any of the governor’s farming transactions. Actually for
more than five years the whole thing was kept secret, and it might have
been so for an indefinite time if the governor had not provoked the
burghers to complain of him.

His inordinate desire to acquire wealth had stifled all feeling of
fidelity to the trust reposed in him by the authorities in Holland. On
the 15th of March 1701 the directors wrote to him and the council that
Carlos II, king of Spain, had died childless, leaving by will his crown
to Philippe duke of Anjou, grandson of the king of France, that Louis
XIV had thereupon sent troops into the Spanish Netherlands and
garrisoned the principal cities to the very border of the republic,
which had caused the greatest apprehension of danger. The country was
being placed in a condition of defence, and the emperor and the king of
England were preparing for eventualities. The governor and the council
were enjoined to be on their guard.[64]

[Sidenote: War of the Spanish Succession.]

In another despatch from the directors, dated the 18th of February 1702,
the governor and council were informed that there was every probability
of the outbreak of hostilities. Spain had accepted Philippe as her king,
which was regarded as equivalent to her becoming subject to Louis XIV.
And on the 15th of May 1702 England, Holland, and the Empire issued a
declaration of war against France, Bavaria, and Spain, when the great
contest known in history as the war of the Spanish Succession commenced,
in which our English Marlborough won so much renown. As far as England
and Holland were concerned, the war continued until the 11th of April
1711, when the treaty of Utrecht was signed, so that nearly the whole
term of office of Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel was a period of

He was entrusted with the care of what was rightly regarded in Holland
as the frontier fortress of India. He was directed to reflect every
night when he retired to rest that when he awoke in the morning he might
find an enemy ready for attack before the gate of the castle, if due
precautions were not taken. The officer in command of the garrison, Olof
Bergh, was only a captain in rank, and was required to carry out his
instructions. Every evening after prayers it was his duty to give the
password and countersign for the night, to issue directions where
sentries were to be placed, and to ascertain that everything connected
with the military department was in proper order. He only could call out
the burghers to aid in the defence of the colony. It was a post of
extreme importance, which required the strictest attention to the
obligations of duty. Tidings frequently came of English or Dutch ships
being captured by French men-of-war and privateers in the Indian sea as
well as in European waters, and although the captures of French ships by
the allies were more numerous, there was nothing extravagant in the
supposition that a few men-of-war with a strong body of troops on board
might sail from some port of France or Spain and attempt to get
possession of the castle of Good Hope. The temptation to do so was very
great. The colony was not thought of, for that was of small importance
in the great war. But if the castle of Good Hope was occupied by a
French garrison, the ships of the Dutch East India Company could be all
seized as they came with their rich cargoes from the East, and one of
the sources of that wealth which enabled the Netherlands republic to
supply the funds for carrying on the war would be cut off.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Avarice is the blindest of vices, and the eyes of Willem Adriaan van der
Stel were closed to everything except the money that flowed into his
coffers from an estate built upon and cultivated almost entirely at the
Company’s expense,[65] and from flocks and herds practically pillaged
from the Hottentots. The trust confided to him the governor disregarded
to such an extent that he was frequently absent at his farm Vergelegen
for two to six weeks at a time as the burghers asserted, six or seven
days he himself admitted in his _Korte Deductie_,[66] surely the weakest
attempt as an excuse for such conduct that ever was penned. It was a
journey of twelve hours by a single span of horses from the castle to
Vergelegen, but by keeping relays of fresh teams along the road, as he
did, it could be done in six hours. What might not have happened in even
six hours if a French fleet had sailed into the bay? Fortunately for the
colony, none appeared. But the burghers were certainly justified in the
fear which they expressed that the governor was imperilling the very
existence of the settlement and exposing it to foreign conquest by
absenting himself from his duty.

[Sidenote: Faithlessness of the Governor.]

If there were no other charges against him than this one alone, an
honest historian, whose duty it is to expose to scorn the evil deeds of
ignoble men as well as to hold up to admiration the good deeds of the
upright, would be compelled to pronounce Willem Adriaan van der Stel
one of the most faithless and contemptible men of whom the records of
any nation, ancient or modern, furnish an example. Many a governor has
lost his head for crimes less glaring than his reckless neglect of duty
for the sake of private interest.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The governor was not the only official of the Company in South Africa
who was farming on his own account, though he was the most prominent of
them all, and his operations were far more extensive than those of any
of the others. The secunde, Samuel Elsevier, an old and somewhat
weak-minded man, had obtained a grant of the farm Elsenburg, near
Klapmuts, from Governor Simon van der Stel,[67] which brought him in
about £250 yearly after all expenses were paid. He might have cultivated
it without reproach from the burghers if he had not always submitted his
will to that of the governor. In the council he was regarded as a
nonentity, simply giving his vote in accordance with the wishes of the
head of the government. Two other members of the council of policy, the
fiscal Johan Blesius and the military captain Olof Bergh, had also
obtained grants of land, but were so moderate in their use that the
burghers did not complain of them.

The reverend Petrus Kalden, clergyman of Capetown, had also obtained a
grant of a farm, Zandvliet, between Stellenbosch and the head of False
Bay. He spent a good deal of time there, but he afterwards proved to the
satisfaction of the authorities in Holland that his object in doing so
was not purely mercenary, but was mainly a wish to acquire a perfect
knowledge of the Hottentot language, in order that he might attempt to
teach those people the doctrines of Christianity, and so improve their
condition.[68] The yearly income he derived from it cannot be
ascertained, but the ground with the buildings which he erected upon it
realised £1424 by public auction after his recall.

[Sidenote: Spirit of the Country Districts.]

The governor’s brother, Frans van der Stel, who was not in the Company’s
service, had a farm at Hottentots-Holland. He was intensely disliked by
the other burghers, on account of his assuming an air of superiority
over them, and, depending upon his relative’s support, doing pretty much
as he liked. He was in the habit of requiring them to plough his land,
to convey his produce to town, and perform other work for him, under
threats that if they did not he would see that they should regret it.

There have never been people less inclined to submit quietly to
grievances, real or imaginary, than the early colonists of Stellenbosch
and Drakenstein. Even at this infant stage of the settlement’s existence
they showed that great difference from the inhabitants of Capetown which
is observable to the present day. They did not know it then, but it was
they who were destined to impart that spirit of hostility to oppression
and wrong which has ever since marked the country people of South
Africa. It is not without reason that the farmers of the distant north
and east to-day regard Stellenbosch and Drakenstein as the mother
settlements of the country, and look upon Capetown almost as a foreign
city. The spirit of the town is widely different from that of the
country. And in 1705, when the first great struggle against tyranny and
corruption commenced, the very best men of Stellenbosch and Drakenstein,
those who had filled the posts of elders and deacons in the church, of
heemraden in the district court, and of officers in the militia, were
those who threw themselves into it. Among them was Jan Willem
Grevenbroek, the most learned man in South Africa at the time, who had
retired from the Company’s service, and had recently been an elder at
Stellenbosch. His name should command the respect of students of
ethnology, though his work has been to some extent distorted by a later
writer. He took as active a part in the movement against the governor as
was consistent with his character as a modest and godfearing student,
though his name does not appear on the principal memorial that will
presently be referred to.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The farmers did not know that instructions in their favour had been sent
out by the directors, which the governor had disregarded, but they saw
plainly that nothing but ruin was before them if matters went on longer
as they were then going. The governor was turning every possible source
of profit to his own account and that of his relatives and friends. He
had eighteen different cattle stations or enormous grazing farms beyond
the mountains, and would allow no one but himself and his brother to use
the pasture there. His horned cattle numbered, as afterwards
ascertained, fully a thousand head, and his sheep were eighteen thousand
eight hundred all told. He had a vineyard sixty-one morgen and a half in
extent at Vergelegen, and besides his plantations and cornlands there,
he had taken possession of another tract of land nearly a hundred and
nineteen morgen in extent, upon which he was growing wheat. His
expenditure was very small, for he made use of the Company’s servants
largely to do his work, and he paid no tithes of his grain to the
Company, as the burghers were obliged to do.[69]

The governor had the first entry into the market, and high prices from
foreign ships went into his pocket. Then his brother Frans at
Hottentots-Holland, his father at Contantia, and the secunde at
Elsenburg followed, and by the time all their produce was disposed of
little indeed was left that the burghers of Stellenbosch and Drakenstein
could sell to good account. In another way too the governor’s conduct
was believed to be such as to forfeit the respect of the burghers, who
were godfearing men. In his domestic life he was said to follow closely
the example of our Charles II, and it was asserted that he had given
strict orders that the ten commandments were not to be read in the
church when he was present.[70] There is no way of either proving or
disproving these charges against him, but the fact that they were made
shows in how little esteem he was held.

[Sidenote: Grievances of the Burghers.]

In 1705 some of the farmers determined to complain to the Indian
authorities, and they succeeded in forwarding to the governor-general
and council at Batavia a list of charges against him. It was a dangerous
thing to do, for if their names should become known, and no redress be
afforded, they knew, that they would be made to feel the governor’s
vengeance. The council was not regarded as any check upon him, and the
military power was entirely at his disposal, so that to brave his anger
was an act requiring more than ordinary moral courage. It was the
commencement of the struggle against corruption and tyranny by the
burghers of Stellenbosch and Drakenstein.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

At Batavia no immediate action was taken in the matter, but a copy of
the complaints, without the signatures to the document, was forwarded to
the governor, who was required to answer to them. While the complainants
were awaiting a reply from the Indian authorities, one of them, Adam Tas
by name, a respectable burgher and a deacon of the Stellenbosch church,
drew up a memorial to the directors in Holland. Tas was a native of the
city of Amsterdam, who had received a good commercial education, and had
come to Capetown in the capacity of bookkeeper in the service of the
contractor Henning Huising, whose wife, Maria Lindenhof, was a sister of
Tas’s mother. After serving as a bookkeeper for some time, Tas married a
widow named Elizabeth van Brakel, whose former husband had left her a
well-cultivated farm in the Stellenbosch district, and he then went to
reside there. He had thus the qualifications and much of the knowledge
necessary for the task he had taken in hand, but as he was ignorant of
the instructions of the directors, the document which he drew up was in
some points very much weaker than it might have been made if the
official documents had been open for his inspection as they are now for
ours. On the other hand, for the same reason some of the charges were
perhaps slightly overdrawn, but the governor was subsequently unable to
prove that the most serious of them were without solid foundation.

[Sidenote: Articles of Complaint.]

In this document the directors were informed of the governor’s extensive
farming operations, and of his employment of the Company’s servants and
slaves and of the use of the Company’s materials for his private
service. He was accused of obtaining cattle by violent means from the
Hottentots, who were provoked to retaliate upon innocent people for the
wrongs done to them.[71] He was also accused of extorting cattle from
burghers by improper means. He was stated to have been frequently absent
at Vergelegen from two to six weeks at a time, when his public duties
were neglected. He was charged with selecting all the best timber and
staves for casks out of the Company’s stores, and paying less than the
burghers had to pay for what was left; of preventing free trade in wine,
and then extorting it from poor farmers at a very low price and selling
it to foreign ships at an enormous profit; of monopolising all trade
with foreigners; of requiring farmers to convey materials to Vergelegen
without payment; of compelling the bakers, by threats of his displeasure
if they did not, to buy his wheat at high prices; of defrauding the
Company by not paying tithes of his wheat; of commandeering--to use an
expressive colonial word--over four hundred woolled sheep from them
without payment; of requiring to be bribed before he would issue
title-deeds to farms; and of arranging the wine and slaughter licenses
in such a manner that the holders could obtain what they needed at very
low prices from the farmers by paying him very high prices for what he
had to sell.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

There were some other charges against him, but they were of less
importance than these, and they need not be mentioned.

The secunde, Samuel Elsevier, and the clergyman, Petrus Kalden, were
charged with being occupied with agriculture to a very large extent, and
of neglecting their duties in consequence. Frans van der Stel, the
governor’s brother, was declared to be a perfect pest to the settlement.

This memorial was dated the 5th of January 1706, and was signed by Jan
Rotterdam, Henning Huising, Abraham Diemer, Nicolaas Diepenauw, Jan van
Meerland, Jacob de Savoye, Willem Mensink, Stephanus Vermey, Guillaume
du Toit, Pieter van der Byl, Adam Tas, Jacob van Brakel, Jacob Plunes,
Hercules du Pré, Jacobus van der Heiden, Wessel Pretorius, Jan Elberts,
Hans Jacob Conterman, Nicolaas Elberts, Jean le Roux, Ary van Wyk,
Pieter de Mont, Pierre Meyer, Reinier van de Zande, Jacobus Louw, Daniel
Sevenhofen, Ferdinandus Appel, Matthys Greef, Willem van Zyl, Daniel
Hugo, Jacques Theron, Etienne Niel, Jean du Buis, Jacques Malan, Douwe
Frederiks, Christiaan Wynoch, François du Toit, Claude Marais, Arend
Gildenhuis, Cornelis van Niekerk, Nicolaas van der Westhuizen, Pierre de
Villiers, Paul Couvret, Abraham Vivier, Abraham Bleusel, Jacques
Pienard, Pierre Vivier, Esaias Costeux, Pierre Mouy, Etienne Bruere,
David Senekal, J. le Roux, Jacob Vivier, Pierre Rousseau, Salomon de
Gourney, Pierre Cronje, Coenraad Cyffer, Charles Marais, Louis le Riche,
Nicolaas Meyboom, Jacob Cloete, and Jan Hendrik Styger.

In a volume published by the governor some time afterwards, as well as
in his statements to the directors and the Indian authorities,[72] he
attempted to explain away some of these charges, and he succeeded so far
that several must be pronounced not proven, while in some others he
established his innocence, but in all that related to his extensive
farming operations and to his making use of the Company’s servants,
slaves, and materials, he failed completely in overthrowing the charges
made against him. He does not refer to his not having paid tithes of his
grain, for he certainly could not refute that charge.

[Sidenote: Action of the Indian Authorities.]

During the night of the 3rd of February 1706 the first five ships of the
return fleet of that year, which sailed from the roads of Batavia on the
2nd of December 1705, cast anchor in Table Bay, and they were followed
in the morning of the 4th by five others, all under the flag of
Commander Jan de Wit. They had orders to remain here until the arrival
of three ships from Ceylon and two others to be despatched later from
Batavia, that all might sail together for Europe. It had been arranged
with the English authorities in India that their return ships should
also call at Table Bay, in order to proceed farther with the Dutch
fleet, so that there might be a very strong force to oppose any French
cruisers in the Atlantic.

With these ships the governor received a despatch from the Indian
authorities enclosing a copy of the document in which he was accused of
malpractices, that had been sent to Batavia in the previous year. He
immediately concluded that similar charges would be forwarded to the
Netherlands, and that a memorial embodying them must be in existence;
but he was unable to learn where it was, or who were parties to it. The
danger of his position, which he at once realised, now drove him to
acts of extreme folly as well as of the grossest tyranny. To prevent the
knowledge of his farming operations reaching the directors became the
object of highest importance to him. If that could be done, he might
still be safe, but if it could not, it would matter little what
additional charges were brought against him, for in any case all would
be lost. There is no other way of accounting for the absurd and violent
measures that he now resorted to, for he cannot be regarded as insane,
though the remark of one of his opponents that avarice had intoxicated
him was doubtlessly true.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

He now caused a certificate to be drawn up, in which he was credited
with the highest virtues, and the utmost satisfaction was expressed with
his administration. The male residents of Capetown were then invited to
the castle, and were there requested to sign the certificate. His
servants were sent out to collect in turn all the mechanics and
labourers of every description in the town and all the fishermen, white
and black, and to bring them to the castle to drink wine and beer and to
smoke a pipe of tobacco at his expense. They mustered there party after
party, and after making merry, allowed their names to be attached to the
document, probably without knowing or caring what its contents were.

The landdrost of Stellenbosch, Jan Starrenburg by name, a mere tool of
the governor, who had held office since July 1705, was directed to
proceed with an armed band from house to house in the country, and
require the residents there to sign it also. This was a much more
difficult matter to effect than to get the signatures of the town’s
people. Many of the farmers refused, even under the landdrost’s threats
that they would be marked men if they did not. Not a few of the
respectable names found on that extraordinary document are certainly not
genuine, for they appear with a cross, though the men that they
professed to represent could write letters and sign other papers as well
as the governor himself could do. Of the two hundred and forty names
found on it, less than one hundred are known in South Africa to-day, and
of these, as already stated, many must have been placed there
fraudulently. Surely no such means of obtaining a certificate of good
conduct was ever resorted to by any other officer of rank in a

[Sidenote: Violent Conduct of the Governor.]

The governor suspected that a memorial to the directors concerning his
conduct had been prepared to be sent to the Netherlands by some officer
in the return fleet, and that Adam Tas, as a competent penman, had most
likely written it. To get possession of his papers, an act of extreme
violence, contrary to all law and justice, was then resolved upon. The
landdrost of Stellenbosch was directed to arrest Tas, and without a
warrant or any legal authority whatever, with a strong armed party he
surrounded the house of that burgher at early dawn in the morning of
Sunday, the 28th of February 1706, arrested him, sent him a prisoner to
Capetown, searched his house, and carried away his writing desk. After
this outrage there could be no truce whatever between the governor and
his opponents, for if a burgher could be treated in this manner, upon
mere suspicion of having drawn up a memorial to the high authorities, no
man’s liberty would be safe. Bail was immediately offered for the
appearance of Tas before a court of justice, but was refused. He was
committed to prison, where he was kept nearly fourteen months in close
confinement, without his wife or friends being permitted to see him,
without writing materials, and even when his little son died, without
being allowed to see the corpse.

In his desk was found the draft from which the memorial to the directors
had been copied. It was unsigned, but a list containing a number of
names and various letters which were with it indicated several of those
who had taken part in the compilation. The completed memorial, with
sixty-two names, thirty-one of which were those of Frenchmen, attached
to it, was at the time in the house of a burgher in Capetown, where it
was intended to be kept until it could be sent away with the return

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The governor thus became acquainted with the nature and terms of the
charges against him. On the 4th of March a number of ships’ officers
were invited to assist in the deliberations of the council of policy,
and some of the retired and acting burgher councillors were summoned to
give evidence. These answered a few questions put to them by the
governor, in a manner favourable to him. The broad council then
consented to the issue of a placaat, in which all persons were forbidden
to take part in any conspiracy or to sign any malicious or slanderous
document against the authorities of the country, under pain of severe
punishment. The ringleaders in such acts were threatened with death or
corporal chastisement. The fiscal and the landdrost were authorised to
seize persons suspected of such offences, and to commit them to prison.
This placaat was on the following Sunday affixed to the door of the
Stellenbosch church.

Within the next few days the governor caused the burghers Wessel
Pretorius and Jacobus van der Heiden to be arrested and committed to
prison, the retired burgher councillor Jan Rotterdam to be banished to
Batavia, and the burghers Pieter van der Byl, Henning Huising,
Ferdinandus Appel, and Jan van Meerland to be put on board a ship bound
to Amsterdam. Jan Rotterdam was seventy years of age, and afflicted with
diabetes, a disease that made it difficult for him to rise quickly from
his seat. He was respected by every one, but the governor had taken a
dislike to him because he did not rise in church when his Excellency
entered, and only saluted by taking off his hat and bowing when seated
on a stoep and his Excellency passed by. This was termed by the governor
insolence, malice, and disrespect, and formed the principal complaint
against him.[74] To this offence he had added, as had the others named,
by signing the memorial. These men had no time given to them to arrange
their affairs, but were hurried out of the country as if they had been
malefactors. They were informed that they must answer before the supreme
authorities at the places of their destination to the charges of
sedition and conspiracy that would be forwarded by the Cape council, and
if they had any complaints they might make them there also.

[Sidenote: Illegal Imprisonment of Burghers.]

By these high-handed proceedings, which were hardly ever equalled by the
most despotic monarch in Europe, and which were in direct opposition to
the laws and customs of the Netherlands,[75] though indeed more than
once violated there in times of popular uprisings, the governor hoped to
terrify his opponents into signing the certificate in his favour and
denying the truth of the charges against him. But not one of those who
were confined on board the ships in the bay faltered for a moment. Their
wives petitioned that the prisoners should be brought to trial at once
before a proper court of justice, which was their right as free-born
Netherlanders, and when it was hinted that if they would induce their
husbands to do what was desired, release would follow, these
true-hearted women indignantly refused.

The arrest and committal to prison of Nicolaas van der Westhuizen,
Christiaan Wynoch, Hans Jacob Conterman, and Nicolaas Meyboom followed
shortly. The governor felt sure now that the complaints of the burghers
would reach Holland by some means or other, and therefore on the 31st of
March 1706 he and the council addressed a letter to the directors, in
which a very unfavourable description of the burghers who signed the
memorial was given, and their conduct in doing so was styled conspiracy,
sedition, mutiny, and rebellion.[76] With this letter was sent an
attested copy of the certificate in his favour, as if it had been a
voluntary and spontaneous act on the part of those whose names or marks
were attached to it.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches]

In the meantime the memorial had been committed to the care of Abraham
Bogaert, a physician in the return fleet, who was refreshing himself on
shore, and who had warm sympathy with the oppressed burghers. He
afterwards wrote a history of these events, which is one of the best
ever published, and which agrees in all respects with the records in the
Cape archives. The Ceylon ships did not reach Table Bay until the 5th
and 6th of March, and the two from Batavia only on the 24th and 26th of
that month. The last arrival required a few days’ delay for refreshment,
but at length all were ready for sea, as were the English ships that had
been waiting to sail in their company. On Sunday, the 4th of April 1706,
the anchors were raised, and the fifteen Dutch and nine English Indiamen
stood out to sea with a favouring breeze. What a gallant sight it must
have been for all but the four banished men, who were forced to leave
all that was dear to them here in Africa, and their farms to be looked
after by their wives alone! When the fleet was at sea and all fear of
search was over, Bogaert delivered the memorial to Henning Huising.

The anchors of the ships were being raised and the topsails being
sheeted home when the governor must have reflected that he was making a
mistake in sending four of the burghers to Europe. In great haste he
embarked in a galiot and followed the fleet as far as Robben Island. In
the official records it is stated that he did this to show respect to
the admiral, but no such method of showing respect was practised here
before or since, and his opponents were probably right when they
asserted that his object was to overtake the ship in which the burghers
were, and release them. He did not succeed in doing this, however.

[Sidenote: Treatment of Imprisoned Burghers.]

Within a week or two further arrests were made, when Jacob de Savoye,
Pierre Meyer, Jacob Cloete, Jacob Louw, and one or two others were
placed in detention. The health of some of the prisoners broke down
under the rigorous treatment to which they were subjected: one--Jacobus
van der Heiden--was confined for twenty-seven days in a foul dungeon,
with a black criminal as his companion. Thirteen of them then, with a
hope of obtaining liberty and the companionship of their families as an
inducement on one side, and the horrible suffering of confinement on
coarse and scanty fare in dark and noisome dungeons and debarred from
the visits of relatives or friends on the other, gave way to the
temptation, and replied to questions put to them disowning the truth of
the assertions in the memorial and expressing contrition for having
signed it. Among these thirteen was Adam Tas, and the circumstance of
his having done so is certainly a blemish upon his reputation, though it
would not be fair to speak harshly of him, considering the position in
which he was placed. His recantation, however, was of no service, for
the governor was devoid of anything like compassion towards him. These
declarations, as they were termed, which were really of no more value
than the confessions of men on the rack, were obtained at different
dates from the 8th of March to the 7th of May 1706. The men who made
them excused themselves afterwards for so doing by stating that it could
not affect the charges against the governor and the other officials,
which would be brought before the directors by those who were then on
the way to Europe. And so, after an imprisonment varying in duration
from a few days to a few weeks, all were released except Adam Tas and
Jacob Louw.

On the 24th of June 1706 the governor and council of policy wrote again
to the directors, vilifying in very strong language the burghers who had
signed the memorial, enclosing copies of the declarations of those who
had been terrified into denying the truth of their former assertions,
and asking that a special commissioner should be sent out to inspect
matters of every kind and report upon them. This request must have been
made with the object of gaining time, for the governor knew well that
his conduct would not bear such an inquiry.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

For a short time matters were now quiet, but on the governor coming to
learn the names of some more of his opponents, Willem van Zyl, François
du Toit, Guillaume du Toit, Hercules du Pré, Cornelis van Niekerk,
Martin van Staden, Jacobus van Brakel, Jan Elberts, and Nicolaas Elberts
were cited to appear before the court of justice. These came to a
resolution not to obey the summons before the decision of the directors
should be known, and so they failed to attend. They were cited by
placaat, but in vain. In consequence, on the 9th of August, by a
majority of the court of justice sitting with closed doors each of them
was sentenced for contumacy to be banished to Mauritius for five years
and to pay a fine of £41 13_s_. 4_d_., half for the landdrost as
prosecutor and half for the court. They were at the same time declared
incapable of ever holding any political or military office in the

This sentence was made public on the 23rd of August, and it tended to
increase the hostility to the government. The whole of the Stellenbosch
and Drakenstein district was now in a state of commotion. Work on the
farms practically ceased, for no man or woman could tell what might not
happen from hour to hour, and no one considered himself safe. The
military outposts, excepting those at Waveren, Klapmuts, Groenekloof,
and Saldanha Bay, at which twenty-four men in all were stationed, had
been broken up before this date, so the burghers felt free to act. In
the early morning of the 18th of September the farmers of Waveren,
Riebeek’s Kasteel, and Drakenstein rode armed into the village of
Stellenbosch, and at beat of drum drew up near the landdrost’s office.
Starrenburg went out to them, and requested the drummer to be still; but
that individual, who was a Frenchman, kept on beating, only observing
that he did not understand Dutch. Some persons, to show their contempt
for the landdrost, began to dance round the drum. Others inquired why
there was to be no fair this year, such as there had always been since
1686. Starrenburg replied that the Indian authorities had prohibited it;
but they would not believe him, and laid the blame upon the Cape
government. Yet it was correct that the Indian authorities were solely
responsible in this matter, as with a view to save expense, on the 29th
of November 1705 they had instructed the council of policy not to
contribute longer towards the prizes or to furnish wine and ale at the
cost of the Company. There was thus no kermis or fair in 1706 and later.

[Sidenote: Disorder at Stellenbosch.]

After this the women expressed their views. The wives of Pieter van der
Byl and Wessel Pretorius, speaking for all, informed the landdrost that
they had no intention of submitting to his tyranny, but were resolved to
maintain their rights. The spirit of the women of the country districts
was thoroughly roused, and their opposition was as formidable as that of
their husbands.[77] Starrenburg was obliged to return to his house in
humiliation. The burghers remained in the village the whole day, setting
him at defiance, but otherwise preserving perfect order.

A few days later two of the persons sentenced to banishment appeared in
Stellenbosch without any support, and jeered at the landdrost, who dared
not attempt to arrest them, as he could not even depend upon his
subordinates. All respect for the government was gone.

It was now arranged between the governor and the landdrost that during
the night of the 28th of September, after the closing of the castle
gate, a party of mounted soldiers should march secretly to the Kuilen.
At two o’clock in the morning of the 29th the landdrost was to meet them
there, and was then before daylight to arrest those who were believed to
be the leaders of the defiant party. But a petty official at the Kuilen,
who sympathised with the burghers, managed to detain the party for a
time, and when they at length left to try to seize Cornelis van Niekerk
in his bed, the alarm had been given.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Daylight broke, no one had been captured, and there was nothing left for
the landdrost and the soldiers but to retire to the village of
Stellenbosch. No one there would give any information or sell a particle
of food to the troops, and the landdrost was obliged to kill his own
goats for their use until provisions could be sent from Capetown.
Starrenburg having now soldiers at his back, the burghers sentenced to
exile fled to Twenty-four Rivers, where they concealed themselves. The
landdrost did his best to capture them, and on the 4th of February 1707
succeeded in arresting Hercules du Pré and Jacobus van Brakel, who were
sent on board the Mauritius packet then lying in Table Bay. A month
later Guillaume du Toit was arrested also and sent on board the same
vessel. During this time the governor dismissed the heemraden and other
officers who had been elected in the legitimate manner, and arbitrarily
appointed creatures of his own to the vacant places.

On the 20th of February 1707 the frigate _Pieter en Paul_ arrived in
Table Bay. She had left Texel on the 2nd of November, and brought
letters to some of the burghers, in which they were informed that their
case had been decided favourably by the directors. She brought no
official despatches, however, and the governor, who affected to
disbelieve the assertions of the burghers, continued his tyranny as

[Sidenote: Return of Jan Rotterdam.]

On the 3rd of March five ships from Ceylon dropped their anchors in
Table Bay, and were followed, 31st of March to 6th of April by six
others from Batavia, forming the return fleet of that year, under
Admiral Meynderts de Boer. In one of the ships from Batavia was Jan
Rotterdam, who returned to South Africa in triumph. Upon the receipt of
the complaints from the Cape concerning him and the governor’s comments
upon what had occurred, the governor-general and council of India
appointed a commission consisting of the ordinary councillor Pieter de
Vos and the councillor extraordinary Hendrik Bekker to investigate the
matter, and take Rotterdam’s evidence. On the 18th of September 1706
these gentlemen sent in a report, of which there is a copy in the Cape
archives. On this the governor-general and council decided, on the 5th
of October, to send all the papers to the Netherlands, that the
directors might take what action they chose in the matter. On the 31st
of August they had decided to give Rotterdam a free passage to Holland,
with liberty on his arrival at the Cape to request permission to remain
here to attend to his affairs, if he chose to do so.[78] There was no
necessity for him to make any request, as before the fleet left Table
Bay the tyranny of the governor was at an end.



[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

While these events were taking place in South Africa, a commission in
Amsterdam was actually making inquiries into the conduct of Governor
Willem Adriaan van der Stel. He knew nothing of this, nor did the
burghers know how information concerning his conduct had reached the
Netherlands.[79] By some means, however, which cannot be ascertained
now, the directors had obtained an inkling of the state of affairs, and
on the 26th of October 1705 they appointed the members of the chamber of
Amsterdam a commission to inquire into the matter and report upon it.
This commission had the official correspondence from the Cape before it,
but no mention could be found in that of either Vergelegen or the
governor’s movements. It would seem from it as if everything was going
on smoothly and satisfactorily at the Cape, and the governor was doing
his duty as an honest man.

Other tidings reached Amsterdam, however, in the course of the next few
months which caused the directors to become alarmed. What these reports
were exactly it is not now possible to discover, nor can the channels be
ascertained by which they were conveyed, but it cannot be far wrong to
conclude that they referred to the governor’s frequent visits to
Vergelegen and his long sojourns there, when the castle and the
garrison were left to take care of themselves. With a governor so
faithless, if what they heard was true, they might lose the half way
house to India any day, and so on the 8th of March 1706 they appointed a
special committee representing all the chambers and including their two
advocates to devise measures for the security of the settlement.[80]

[Sidenote: Examination into the Governor’s Conduct.]

Meantime, on the 15th of February 1706 the chamber of Amsterdam had
appointed a committee, consisting of Messrs. Bas, Van Castricum, De
Witt, Lestevenon, and Trip, with Advocate Scott, to examine thoroughly
into the complaints against the governor and bring up a report on the
subject.[81] So there can be no doubt that even if the charges drawn up
by Adam Tas and sent to Holland by the return fleet of 1706 had not
reached the directors, the circumstances connected with Vergelegen would
have become known, and the faithless and rapacious governor have met
with his deserts. But as the material upon which to form a judgment was
not as perfect in Holland as could be wished, the arrival of the fleet
then on its way from India to Europe was looked forward to with some
anxiety by both the committees, as it would probably bring despatches
from the governor and council of policy that would assist them to come
to a decision.

On the 27th of July 1706 that fleet which, as has been recorded, sailed
from Table Bay on the 4th of April under Admiral Jan de Wit, reached
Texel in safety. There was then no lack of evidence as to what had
transpired at the Cape, it was to hand in fact in superabundance. As
soon therefore as the directors had read the official despatches from
the governor, including the testimonial in his favour which he had
caused to be drawn up and which must have excited their contempt for a
man who could adopt such a measure in face of his treachery that could
no longer be concealed, they sent the whole to the chamber of Amsterdam.
Of the four burghers exiled to Europe, one, Jan van Meerland, died on
the passage. The others, as soon as they could do so after their arrival
in Amsterdam, presented to the directors the memorial that Tas had drawn
up, with the various documents attached to it. After being read by them,
it also was sent to the chamber of Amsterdam.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

But now a great change in the attitude of the East India Company towards
the nature of the various offences committed by the governor took place.
His defiance of their orders not to cultivate ground or own cattle, his
treachery in leaving his duty and residing frequently at Vergelegen,
thus exposing the colony to the utmost danger, and his use of their
materials and their workpeople at Vergelegen and elsewhere, robbery as
it was, was permitted to fall into the background, and his lawless
violence towards the burghers who had complained of his misdeeds became
the most prominent subject enquired into. The whole of the tyranny
displayed by him was not indeed known, but sufficient had transpired
before the departure of the fleet from Table Bay to rouse the
indignation of the free Netherlanders, and the directors, even if they
had not been disposed to do justice themselves, dared not provoke an
outcry that one of the most cherished rights of a citizen was being
violated in their dependency at the Cape. The opponents of the Company,
the men who wanted something in its place in which they should have a
personal interest, would certainly make use of such an outcry to attack
it in the States-General, and therefore this charge must be attended to
before any other.

[Sidenote: Lame Excuses of the Governor.]

The committee of the chamber of Amsterdam investigated the matter very
thoroughly. Unfortunately the debates were not recorded, and only the
resolutions were preserved, just as in the proceedings of a legislative
body to-day. But these resolutions show that all possible trouble was
taken to arrive at the truth, and notwithstanding the urgency of the
case, there was no undue haste, for it was only on the 11th of October
1706 that a report to the chamber was sent in.[82] In addition to the
documents examined by the committee, it had taken the evidence of the
exiled burghers and of the ships’ officers who had been two months at
the Cape. Some of these had lived on shore during that time, and had
witnessed the violent acts that had put the whole settlement into
confusion and the manner in which signatures to the certificate in the
governor’s favour were obtained, so that document was held as of no
weight whatever. The governor’s comments upon the charges against him
also were so weak that they were utterly valueless.[83]

For instance, his only excuse for his possession of Vergelegen was that
if the Company’s servants had no land they, himself included, would be
obliged to buy what grain, cattle, wine, vegetables, fruit, and other
necessaries they required from unreasonable farmers at whatever rates
might be demanded, and might even be at the mercy of those farmers to be
supplied or not. This would surely, he said, be intolerable to officials
of rank. That was the best and indeed the only excuse he could make for
having in his possession, in opposition to the direct orders of the
directors, a thousand head of horned cattle and eighteen thousand eight
hundred sheep, for producing eleven hundred muids of wheat and fifty-six
leggers of wine yearly. And that too when he was provided by the Company
with rations[84] on an exceedingly liberal scale, when he was legally
and honestly entitled to whatever vegetables and fruit he needed for his
own family’s use out of the Company’s gardens in Capetown, at
Rustenburg, and at Newlands, when he had an adequate table allowance in
money to purchase anything else that was needed, as may be seen in the
yearly accounts, and when he was provided with twenty slaves as
domestics, who were entirely maintained by the Company.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

As for the woolled sheep that he was accused of taking from the farmers
without payment, his defence was that he had sent out two men to obtain
them either in exchange for others or for money, that they had returned
with one hundred and seventy-eight, and that he thought he had paid for
them. He denied positively that he had taken bribes for giving
title-deeds to ground, but it was proved conclusively that he had
received large presents and had made extensive purchases without payment
from those whom be favoured. The whole defence was as weak as these
examples, except in a few particulars, and with the oral evidence
against him, the committee could only come to one conclusion.

[Sidenote: Report of the Chamber of Amsterdam.]

The chamber of Amsterdam approved of the report of its committee, and
requested the members to go over it again carefully and draw it up in
such a form that it could be presented in the name of the full body to
the assembly of seventeen. On the 25th of October accordingly the report
was brought before the full chamber and adopted, when it was signed by
all the members present, sixteen in number, and was then forwarded to
the directors. Among those who signed it was the same Wouter
Valckenier[85] who had granted Vergelegen to Van der Stel, who was then
a member of the chamber of Amsterdam, and immediately afterwards was
elected to a seat in the directorate.

In this report the burghers who signed the complaints against Van der
Stel and others were acquitted of sedition, conspiracy, or treason, and
the action of the governor towards them was consequently declared to
have been unjust.

It was recommended

That all those banished from the Cape should be restored to their homes
at the Company’s expense, and all those imprisoned be liberated.

That recompense should be made to the banished men for the damages
sustained by them, either by giving contracts to them or allowing them
to take anything they needed to the Cape free of charge for freight.

That the governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel, the secunde Samuel
Elsevier, the clergyman Petrus Kalden, and the landdrost Jan Starrenburg
should be recalled at once, but be permitted to retain their salaries
and rank, though without any authority.

That Frans van der Stel should be required to remove from the Company’s

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

That the estate Vergelegen at Hottentots-Holland, as acquired wrongfully
and without proper authority, and for the possession of which approval
was never obtained, should be restored to the Company with all the
plants on it, and that the buildings should be taken over on a

That enquiry should be made into the manner in which the retired
governor Simon van der Stel became possessed of his landed property,
especially of the Great Rietland or Zeekoe Valley, and a report thereon
be sent to the Assembly of Seventeen.

That thereafter no servant of the Company should be permitted to hold
any land in property or on lease, or possess any cattle, or traffic in
cattle, corn, or wine, directly or indirectly.

That every colonist should be free to slaughter and sell cattle, and
that contracts should be made to supply the Company’s passing ships with
flesh at thirteen duiten a pound.

That the license to sell wine should be disposed of in four parts.

And finally that emigration to the Cape should cease.

This report was adopted by the assembly of seventeen on the 26th of
October, and four days later, 30th of October 1706, a letter signed by
the directors was delivered to the master of the ship _Kattendyk_, then
lying at Texel ready for sea, with orders to deliver it to the governor
Willem Adriaan van der Stel in presence of witnesses.[86] The
_Kattendyk_ with four other Indiamen left Texel on the 25th of December
1706 under convoy of four ships of war, but after leaving the Channel
she lost sight of the rest of the fleet, so she came on alone,
fortunately without falling in with French cruisers, and anchored in
Table Bay in the morning of the 16th of April 1707. The skipper took
the letter on shore, and delivered it to the governor as directed.

[Sidenote: Recall of the Governor.]

On Sunday the 17th the council of policy assembled, when the despatch of
the directors was read. It announced that the governor Willem Adriaan
van der Stel, the secunde Samuel Elsevier, the clergyman Petrus Kalden,
and the landdrost Jan Starrenburg were removed from office and ordered
to proceed to Europe with the least possible delay. That everything
might be conducted fairly and justly with regard to them, however, they
were allowed to retain their rank and pay until they should have an
opportunity of clearing themselves from the charges against them, if
that was possible. The governor’s brother, Frans van der Stel, was to
betake himself to some place outside of the Company’s possessions. The
burghers were acquitted of the absurd charge of conspiracy, sedition,
mutiny, and rebellion, they were reinstated in all their former rights
and privileges, the three sent to Europe were restored to their homes at
the Company’s expense, and orders were given that if any were in prison
in the colony they should immediately be released. The governor was
ordered to pay out of his own pocket at the rate of 6_s._ 8_d._ each for
the woolled sheep he had acquired, and the wine and slaughter licenses
were to be issued at once in the same manner as had been the custom
before he altered them to suit his own purposes.

It was announced that Louis van Assenburgh, who had previously been an
officer in the army of the German emperor, had been appointed governor,
and Johan Cornelis d’Ableing, recently commander at Palembang, secunde.
In case neither of these should arrive in the colony at an early date,
the administration was to be assumed by the independent fiscal Johan
Blesius and the other members of the council of policy acting as a

The Mauritius packet had not yet sailed, and the fiscal, who was
directed by the assembly of seventeen to carry out their instructions,
at once set at liberty the five burghers Adam Tas, Jacob Louw, Jacobus
van Brakel, Hercules du Pré, and Guillaume du Toit. Tidings that they
were to be released and that the tyranny of the governor was at an end
had reached the townspeople, and the principal inhabitants assembled on
the open ground before the castle to welcome their countrymen as they
landed on the jetty or came from the dungeons in which they had been
confined, and great was the joy and sincere were the thanks poured out
to the God of heaven, mingled with gratitude to the directors, that
justice had triumphed and oppression and misrule were things of the
past. Of what occurred at Stellenbosch and Drakenstein when the glad
tidings reached those places no information is given in our archives,
but it may be taken as certain that the joy there was at least as great
and deepfelt as it was in Capetown. To the men of those districts it was
due that tyranny and corruption had been overthrown, and from that time
forward Stellenbosch and Drakenstein have been the centres of Dutch
South African thought and action to a much greater extent than any other
parts of the country.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

There is a legend that the man who suffered most from violence
henceforth called his farm Libertas, to signify that freedom had been
won, or, as he wittily explained to inquirers as to the meaning of the
term, to denote that Tas was free. The place is still so called.

The council resolved that the administration should be transferred to
the fiscal and others on the 15th of May, if the newly-appointed
secunde, who was on his way out, should not arrive before that date. It
was Sunday, and the reverend Mr. Kalden preached twice in the church.

During the week an arrangement was made by which the reverend Messrs. Le
Boucq and Bek should conduct the services on alternate Sundays in
Capetown, and Mr. Kalden ceased to officiate. Starrenburg, whose last
report was that the mutineers were constantly reviling him and that
only a Masaniello was wanting to produce an open outbreak, was sent by
the fiscal on board a ship in the return fleet. An officer named Samuel
Martin de Meurs was appointed to act provisionally as landdrost.

[Sidenote: Views of the Directors.]

Johan Cornelis d’Ableing, the newly-appointed secunde, arrived on the
6th of May 1707. He was a nephew of the recalled governor Van der Stel,
and, under pretence that the books required to be balanced, postponed
taking over the administration until the 3rd of June. The recalled
officials could not then leave for Europe before the arrival of the
homeward bound fleet of the following year.

From the vast quantity of contemporaneous printed and manuscript matter
relating to the conduct of Willem Adriaan van der Stel, the views of the
directors and of the colonists concerning the government of the country
and the rights of its people can be gathered with great precision. In
the Netherlands at that period representative institutions, such as are
now believed to be indispensable to liberty, were unknown. Yet the
people were free in reality as well as in name. There is not a word
expressing a wish on the part of the burghers for an alteration in the
form of government, what they desired being merely that the
administration should be placed in honest hands, and that their rights
should be respected.

The directors desired to have here a large body of freemen in
comfortable circumstances, loyal to the fatherland, ready and willing to
assist in the defence of the colony if attacked, enjoying the same
rights as their peers in Europe, and without much diversity of rank or
position. They stated clearly and distinctly that the closer the
equality between the burghers could be preserved the more satisfactory
it would be to them. Positive orders were issued that large tracts of
land, upon which several families could obtain a living, were not to be
granted to any individual.

In giving directions concerning Vergelegen, they stated that as its
grant by the commissioner Valckenier to the governor was improper and
had never been reported to them and much less had their approval been
requested or given, they resumed possession of the ground. The large
dwelling-house upon it, being adapted for ostentation and not for the
use of a farmer, must be broken down. The late governor could sell the
materials for his own benefit. The other buildings could be fairly
valued, and the amount be paid to Mr. Van der Stel, or he could break
them down and dispose of the materials if he preferred to do so.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

An estate such as Vergelegen would by many people to-day be considered
useful as a model. Van der Stel had laid it out with the choicest vines,
plants, and trees, and was making extensive experiments there. The
ground was the most skilfully tilled in the whole country. But the
directors held that such a farm as this, owned by one individual and
cultivated chiefly by slave labour, could not be of the same advantage
to the infant colony as a number of smaller ones, each in possession of
a sturdy European proprietor. It was therefore not to be sold as a
single estate, but was to be divided into several farms, each of which
was to be disposed of by public auction separately from the others.

Frans van der Stel was required to sell his property and remove to some
country not included in the Company’s charter. The former governor Simon
van der Stel was left in possession of his farm Constantia, but
directions were given that upon his death the other land which he held
should revert to the Company.

Emphatic instructions were issued that for the future, in accordance
with the orders of the 26th of April 1668, no servant of the Company,
from the highest to the lowest, was to own or lease land in the colony,
or to trade directly or indirectly in corn, wine, or cattle. Those who
had landed property could sell it, but if they should not do so within a
reasonable period, it would be confiscated. The burghers were not to be
molested in their right to dispose of their cattle or the produce of
their ground in any way that suited them. They were to be governed in
accordance with law and justice.

[Sidenote: Views of the Colonists.]

On their part, the colonists claimed exactly the same rights as if they
were still living in the fatherland. They held that any restrictions to
which the early burghers had agreed were of a temporary nature, and
affected only those who had consented to them. In their opinion they had
forfeited nothing by removal to a dependency, and the violence displayed
by the governor towards Adam Tas and his associates was as outrageous as
if it had taken place in the city of Amsterdam. They asserted their
undoubted right to personal liberty, to exemption from arrest unless
under reasonable suspicion of crime, to admission to bail, to speedy
trial before a proper court of justice, to freedom to sell to anyone,
burgher or foreigner, whatever their land produced, after the tithes had
been paid and the Company’s needs had been supplied, except under
special circumstances when restriction was needed for the good of the
community. And these claims, made in as explicit terms as they could be
to-day by an Englishman living in a crown colony, were not challenged by
the directors or the Indian authorities, but were accepted by every one
as unquestioned. They were the ideals of the proper working and spirit
of government held by the great bulk of the people of the Netherlands at
the beginning of the eighteenth century, before democratic principles or
socialistic views had gained ground among the labouring classes or were
even dimly foreshadowed in the minds of men who toiled with their hands
for their bread. Such a system answered admirably in the fatherland, and
the Cape burghers desired to maintain it unimpaired in South Africa.

Mr. Van der Stel retired to Vergelegen, and began arranging matters so
that he could leave the country with as little pecuniary loss as
possible. His friends and connections in Amsterdam were numerous and
influential, and he cherished the hope that through their agency the
directors might be induced to leave him in possession of the estate. He
does not seem to have realised how serious his offences had been and how
impossible it was that he should be forgiven. But as he had now only his
own servants and slaves to work with, it was necessary to contract his
farming operations, and under any circumstances it would be wise to
dispose of his great flocks and herds with the least possible delay. For
this, so unlike the case of the men whom he had hurried out of the
colony, he had ample time. There is very little information in the
archives of occurrences at Vergelegen during those months, though
several commissions visited the place, so nothing beyond what is here
mentioned can be related.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the 25th of January 1708 Governor Louis van Assenburgh arrived. He
had been eight months on the passage from Holland, and had been obliged
to put into a port on the coast of Brazil. In the same ship with the
governor was Henning Huising, one of the deported burghers, who had
entered into a contract with the directors for the supply of half the
meat required by the Company at the Cape during the next three years,
the object of dividing the contract being to secure competition in
purchasing cattle from the burghers. Pieter van der Byl and Ferdinandus
Appel had reached the colony seven months before.

When the arrival of the governor was known at Vergelegen, Mr. Van der
Stel sent a petition to the council of policy requesting that he might
be allowed to retain the estate a few months longer, as he had hopes
that by the next fleet from Europe intelligence would be received that
the directors had mitigated their decision. As compliance with this
request would have been directly opposed to the orders of the 30th of
October 1706, a matter which he seemed to regard as of little
importance, but which the new governor decidedly objected to, the
council refused to entertain it, and the utmost that he could obtain was
permission to press the grapes then ripening and dispose of half the
wine on his own account, the other half to be for the Company. The
quantity pressed was fifty-six leggers of five hundred and seventy-six
litres each.

[Sidenote: Dismissal of the Governor.]

On the 23rd of February 1708 Henning Huising summoned Mr. Van der Stel
before the court of justice for £3,056 in addition to the value of nine
thousand sheep. This gave the late governor an opportunity to request
the council of policy to allow him to remain in South Africa another
year, in order to get evidence to defend himself in this case; but upon
Huising stating that he preferred bringing the action in Holland to
being the means of keeping Van der Stel longer in the colony, the
council declined to accede to his request.

On the 23rd of April 1708 the return fleet of this year sailed from
Table Bay for Europe, having on board the late governor, secunde, and
clergyman of Capetown with their families. Upon their arrival at
Amsterdam Van der Stel and Elsevier were dismissed from the Company’s
service. They had left agents in the colony to wind up their affairs and
to transmit the proceeds to them. Mr. Kalden was more fortunate, for,
though his possession of a farm was not approved of, he did not come in
the same category as members of the council and of the court of justice,
and he was able to make a good defence as far as his motives were
concerned. He was retained in the service, and several years afterwards
was sent as a chaplain to India.

Vergelegen was divided into four farms, which were sold by auction in
October 1709. The cultivated land was found on measurement to be six
hundred and thirteen morgen in extent. The large dwelling-house was
broken down, and the material was sold for Van der Stel’s benefit. The
other buildings were taken over by the Company for £625, though the
materials of which they were constructed were appraised at a much higher
sum. The four farms brought £1,695 at public sale, the purchasers being
Barend Gildenhuis, Jacobus van der Heiden, Jacob Malan, and the widow of
Gerrit Cloete.

Frans van der Stel returned to Europe in the same fleet with his
brother, and took up his residence in Amsterdam. His wife, Johanna
Wessels, was a daughter of one of the leading burghers of the colony.
She remained behind with her parents to dispose of the property to the
best advantage, and did not leave to rejoin her husband until April

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

After his dismissal from the Company’s service, Willem Adriaan van der
Stel was in the most unenviable position that can be imagined, though he
was now possessed of considerable wealth. In the city of Amsterdam,
where he had once been a magistrate and where he had numerous
respectable relatives and connections, he was a disgraced man. In order
to try to make his conduct appear less reprehensible in the eyes of the
public, he prepared and published the volume called the _Korte
Deductie_, in which the most serious of his offences were entirely
ignored, and the certificate in his favour and the forced declarations
from several burghers that have been described were set forth as proofs
of his innocence with regard to others. As may well be believed, such a
volume completely failed in its object. The burghers in South Africa
were under no necessity to reply to it, for its weakness was evident to
every one, but two of them did so, and in their _Contra Deductie_
published such a number of depositions made under oath as utterly to
destroy it.

There is one circumstance in connection with this matter that has been
commented upon by several historians, notably by the late Judge
Watermeyer in his _Lectures_, that is the lightness of the punishment
inflicted on Van der Stel. Mr. Watermeyer attributed it to the assembly
of seventeen not feeling aversion towards his tyranny. But that view is
not borne out by the documents of the time when minutely examined, for
the directors certainly did express the strongest disapprobation of his
conduct in trampling on law and justice. Nor was the leniency of their
treatment of him altogether due to their wish to avoid irritating his
influential relatives, though that may have had something to do with
it. The main cause was simply that Mr. Wouter Valckenier, who was one of
the directors at the time, could not absolve himself from all blame in
the matter, for he had granted part of Vergelegen to Van der Stel,
without reflecting upon what the consequences might be. The governor had
abused his confidence, still he was not free of blame. And so nothing
but the ground was resumed, and the delinquent was not even compelled to
make good to the Company the amount which he had defrauded it of.

[Sidenote: One Effect of the Governor’s Tyranny.]

The punishment of Willem Adriaan van der Stel, though mild, had the
effect of securing to the Cape colonists good government, as it was then
held to be, for more than half a century after his recall. The spirit of
the burghers was not broken, as it would have been if he had remained in
power, and a liberty loving people had time, in God’s good providence,
to secure a firm foothold in South Africa.

There was an effect upon the South African colonists that these troubles
produced which makes them memorable in our history. They blended the
different nationalities together so firmly that thereafter they were
absolutely inseparable. There is nothing that tends more to make men and
women sympathise with each other than suffering in a common cause, and
in this instance Hollander and Huguenot alike had resisted and felt the
vengeance of the tyrant. When Du Toit and Du Pré, liberated from the
vessel that was to have taken them into exile at Mauritius, met Tas and
Louw, staggering from the dungeons in which they had been so long
confined, can anyone doubt that they greeted each other as brothers? Our
archives tell us nothing of that scene on the parade ground before the
castle, but they do tell us very plainly that from that day onward there
was no jealousy, no ill-feeling of any kind, between Dutchmen and
Frenchmen in the colony. Thereafter all were Afrikanders.

How could it be otherwise? It is not too much for even a historian
seeking only for truth to assume that the sisterhood of the women also
had been cemented by their common misery, that Mevrouw Van der Byl, for
instance, would feel an affection stronger far than mere sympathy for
Madame Du Toit, who, like herself, had seen her husband torn from her
and sent into banishment, probably for ever unless God and the directors
should curb the merciless oppressor’s will. The names on the memorial
show an equal number of French and Dutch, and among them are those of
the heads of many of the best families in South Africa at the present
day. They can look back with pride to the action of their ancestors in
resisting corruption so gross and tyranny so outrageous as that of
Willem Adriaan van der Stel, and in thinking of the suffering those
brave men and women endured, they can thank God that it was not in vain,
since it was productive of so much good.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The Van der Stel family attained its highest point of celebrity in the
time of the sons of Simon, the grandsons of Adriaan who went to India in
1623. According to Van der Aa, Willem Adriaan, after his dismissal,
purchased the estates of Old and New Vossemeer, and died on the 1st of
July 1723, leaving five children. Adriaan became governor of Amboina and
councillor extraordinary of India, and left three children. Hendrik was
warehouse keeper at Malacca in 1705, but nothing more is known of him.
It is a saying in the United States that the stage from shirt sleeve to
shirt sleeve is usually covered in only three generations, and the
observation would seem to be correct in this case. Van der Aa could find
no one of the name of Van der Stel worthy of notice after the third
generation had passed away, except A. van der Stel, who drew plates for
a work on natural history published in 1754, and a woman of the name who
was an actress and stage dancer in the middle of the eighteenth


_Chronicles of Two Leaders of the Great Emigration, Louis Triegard and
Pieter Uys._




No history has yet been written that cannot be improved upon. In the
opinion of most students the greatest work of this kind in the English
language is _The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_, but if Gibbon
were now alive he could certainly improve that masterpiece by means of
discoveries that have been made since he last revised it. If this can be
said of volumes prepared by a man of means, who was able to devote his
whole time and thought to his work, it is infinitely more true of such a
book as my _History of South Africa_, which has been produced under
difficulties little short of being insurmountable.

Half a century has passed away since I commenced to gather materials for
my history, but during all that time I have had to toil for my bread,
and whenever I have gained a point of advantage I have found myself
speedily hurled from it. In a country like South Africa, where racial
prejudice has always been passionate, one who would try, as I have done,
to write impartially must expect to meet with opposition from the
extreme wings of both sections of the community, and unfortunately for
me that opposition, or more properly speaking animosity, has frequently
been sufficient to deprive me for a time of the power of making
researches or continuing my work.

And so great is the quantity of material to be examined for the
preparation of a history of South Africa, so scattered is it, and so
disordered is the manuscript portion, that fifty years, even if devoted
entirely to the work, would not be too long to master it all. Many
languages have to be learned, and libraries and archive departments
visited and worked in half over Europe as well as in South Africa. I am
speaking now only of the period since the discovery of the Cape of Good
Hope by the Portuguese, if one wants to go further back a knowledge of
Arabic and prolonged visits to many eastern towns would be
indispensable. This I was prevented from even attempting. In Indian
literature also much important information may possibly--even
probably--be found, for beyond a doubt there was intercourse between
Hindostan and Eastern Africa in ancient times. No man could grapple with
all this single-handed, and if any one were to try to do it, at the end
of fifty years he would find a very great deal still to be done.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Owing to this cause--the vast amount of research that was needed and the
many interruptions I met with--my history, though correct, is defective,
that is there is nothing untruthful or misleading in it, but there are
sections that could be enlarged to advantage. Among such sections are
the deeds of Louis Triegard and Pieter Uys. I commenced my study of the
great emigration by getting accounts of it from numerous men and women
who had taken part in it. I soon found--as every one else has done who
has attempted to collect such materials--that the various relations did
not agree, and that something more reliable was needed to base a
description upon. I then read whatever was to be found in printed books
and the newspapers of the period, and as soon as I had an opportunity of
doing so I examined all the manuscripts that I could find in the Cape
archives bearing on the subject.

It is a quarter of a century since I published a volume containing the
history of the emigration, the first book on the subject prepared in
South Africa. The facts as related by me have never been disputed, but
there are some who profess to believe that they are described in a
spirit too favourable to the emigrants, and others that they are just
the reverse. I shall not alter a single word owing to such opinions,
but when I find new and reliable materials that enable me to enlarge my
former accounts, I shall certainly make use of them. Such materials have
recently come to hand with regard to Louis Triegard and Pieter Uys in a
collection of important documents made by Governor Sir Benjamin D’Urban,
taken by him to England, and preserved in the archives of his family
until 1911, when they were most generously presented by his grandson
through me to the Union government.

[Sidenote: Occupation of the Eastern Districts.]

Two centuries lacking less than two decades had passed away since
European farmers first made homes for themselves on the banks of the
Liesbeek river, near the foot of Table Mountain, and in 1835 white men
were cultivating ground and pasturing their flocks and herds as far away
as the banks of the Kat and the Fish in one direction and the great
plain bordering on the Orange in another. The area they had spread over
was thus wide and long, though its occupation had been slower than that
of any other settlement of Europeans possessing a tithe of its
attractions. In most parts of the districts beyond the coast belt it was
very sparsely peopled, the farms, which might with greater propriety
have been termed cattle-runs, being seldom less than five or six
thousand English acres in extent, and often carrying only a single
family upon them.

The small district of Albany was an exception to this general statement.
It was occupied chiefly by British settlers, who had originally plots of
ground only one hundred acres in size allotted to them, but these had
proved insufficient for the maintenance of a family, and most of them
had been abandoned. Those that remained occupied had then been enlarged,
though not to the extent of the great cattle-runs which the older
Dutch-speaking colonists considered necessary for their subsistence.

There was a marked difference in disposition between the Dutch-speaking
and the English-speaking colonists. The former, being cattle-breeders by
descent through several generations, were strongly attached to country
life, and disliked residence in a village or town, where they seldom
remained longer than a few hours. Restraint of any kind was exceedingly
irksome to them, even the slight restraint of conforming to urban
conditions. Their ideal of a happy life was a life on a farm where a man
could look north, south, east, and west, and see nothing that was not
his own, where a few fruit trees and vines provided him with peaches and
oranges, apples and grapes, and a little garden, irrigated from a
running stream or a fountain, yielded him all the vegetables he needed,
and where his horned cattle, horses, and sheep throve and increased. Cry
down such a life as one will, call it unprogressive, devoid of culture,
wanting in refinement, destructive of energy, it cannot be denied that
it was a happy life and one that brought man into closer communion with
nature and with God than if he passed his existence in a town or a
village. Except in the most secluded districts there is no longer room
for such a life in South Africa, though some there are even in the more
fertile parts who strive to cling to it still, but in the fourth decade
of the nineteenth century it was the ideal which nearly every
Dutch-speaking colonist in the eastern districts of the Cape settlement
kept constantly before his eyes.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The English settler as a rule viewed life differently. He disliked a
lonely country home, where there was no opportunity of exercising his
spirit of enterprise, where the means of giving his children an
education in books were lacking, and where companionship with his
species was uncertain and scanty. He preferred to reside in a town,
where he would have greater scope for his abilities, and where he could
have more of such comforts and enjoyments as he desired. There were
indeed Englishmen to be found among the leading farmers, but the great
majority of them were traders or mechanics. Besides this in most cases
they had not the means to purchase stock to commence cattle-breeding
with, even if they had the disposition to do so, and they had no heart
to face the privations that many a Dutch-speaking youth underwent as a
matter of course to obtain a few sheep and cows to make a beginning
with. An Englishman could not, for instance, live almost entirely on
game for years, as they often did, to spare their domestic cattle and
allow them to increase. And so in Albany a town speedily rose, which
contained a large proportion of the British settlers, and which was by
far the most important centre of population in the eastern districts of
the Cape Colony. Grahamstown it was called, and it was as purely English
as if it stood in Kent or in Sussex.

[Sidenote: Causes of Discontent.]

For several years there had been great discontent throughout the
settlement. In England the party that wished to undo the errors of the
past, to atone for the crime of slave-trading in which earlier
generations had been deeply involved, and to make strenuous efforts for
the elevation of the coloured races, sunk in barbarism and heathenism
throughout the world, had been steadily growing in numbers and in
influence until at length it had become the dominant power in the state.
Its leaders were earnest well-meaning men, but they did not realise that
improvement to be most effective should be gradual rather than sudden.
They acted as did the men of the French revolution, and in both cases an
enormous amount of misery was the immediate consequence, though as time
went on the good that they did gradually came to surpass the evil which
was at first the result of too much haste. They did not study the
condition of things in South Africa, and the parliament at Westminster
applied laws to this country that were quite unsuitable to it.

They placed the Hottentots on a perfect political equality with the
European colonists and refused to sanction a vagrant act, thereby
creating a host of idlers and wanderers, that only time and missionary
effort could reduce to order. They emancipated the slaves of a sudden,
paying one-third of their appraised value as compensation, and by doing
so brought utter ruin upon many of the best families in the country and
deep distress upon nearly all. The gradual emancipation which the
colonists favoured they rejected, simply because it would take a
generation to work out, though all possible protection against ill-usage
of the slaves could have been secured under it, and the negroes as a
whole would have been better prepared for freedom.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

There were other causes of dissatisfaction among the Dutch-speaking
colonists. The suppression of their language in courts of law and
official documents was one. Another was the change of land tenure from
leases renewable yearly to perpetual quitrent, necessitating heavy
charges for surveying and much larger annual payments. This measure, by
giving security of tenure and permitting transfer on sale, was
undoubtedly beneficial, but the frontier farmers and graziers,
accustomed to the old system, regarded the new one as a plan for
extorting money from them, especially as in most instances the charges
for surveying were paid years before the issue of titles. The great
extent of the magisterial districts prevented the government officials
from explaining the real object of such changes to the farmers, and this
could not be remedied for want of funds.

Still another cause of dissatisfaction was owing to the swarms of
barbarians that of recent years had entered the colony from the north
and the east, who were a menace to the cattle farmers, from whom they
demanded food which, if not given at once, was taken by force. These
barbarians were the remnants of various Betshuana tribes that had been
nearly exterminated in the wars that originated with Tshaka and
Umsilikazi,[89] to whom was added a large section of the Tembu tribe
driven westward by Matiwane, himself a fugitive from the Zulu spears.
The government did what it could, without actual violence, to induce
these invaders to remove beyond the borders, but without success, and
public opinion in England would not admit of sterner measures being
resorted to, such as the cattle farmers desired.

But more than all that has been mentioned, the greatest cause of
irritation was due to the tone of the missionary and so-called
philanthropic press. By it the farmers were vilified as if they were
cruel tyrants who treated the coloured people as mere animals, and all
their misfortunes, which were diminished to next to nothing, were
alleged to be due to themselves. Extracts from books and pamphlets of
this tone found their way to the farms and were discussed whenever
individuals met, until a general feeling of indignation was aroused. By
no one was it disputed that in South Africa, as in all other countries
of the world, there were violent men to be found, and that instances of
extreme cruelty to coloured dependents could be pointed out; but that a
whole community should be branded with infamy on account of the misdeeds
of a few individuals seemed to be as unjust as if the inhabitants of
London should be termed murderers because occasionally a terrible crime
was committed there.

[Sidenote: Causes of Discontent.]

And now in the closing days of 1834 a calamity more dreadful than any
that preceded it had overtaken the English settlers of Albany and the
Dutch-speaking farmers of Somerset, and had reduced them all alike to a
condition of the direst distress.[90] Without notice, without anything
that a European can regard as sufficient provocation, great bands of
Xosas suddenly crossed the border and spread over these frontier
districts, murdering all the male inhabitants who had not time to escape
to places where they could defend themselves and their families, burning
their farmhouses and outbuildings, and driving off the horses, horned
cattle, sheep, and goats. The whole frontier, with the exception of
Grahamstown and a few of the most important villages which were left
like oases, was reduced to an absolute desert. Seven thousand
individuals, the majority of whom had previously been in comfortable
circumstances, were reduced to such destitution that the government was
obliged to supply them with food, or they must have starved.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

By dint of great exertion the burgher forces, with two regiments of
British infantry and a strong contingent of Hottentots, drove the Xosas
out of the colony and reduced them to partial subjection in the
territory between the Keiskama and Kei rivers. A British and colonial
army penetrated the country beyond the Kei, captured some thousands of
cattle, and released the Fingoes from subjection to the Xosas. These
Fingoes were the remnants of tribes that had lived in Natal, where they
were all but exterminated in the wars of Tshaka. They were brought
westward, and were located chiefly in what is now the district of
Peddie, that they might become a kind of buffer between the colonists
and the Xosas. Then the territory between the Keiskama and Kei rivers
was proclaimed a British possession, under the name of the Province of
Queen Adelaide.

Sir Benjamin D’Urban, the governor, enjoyed the esteem and affection of
a great majority of the colonists, English and Dutch-speaking alike, in
a larger degree than any one before him had done, and Colonel H. G.
Smith, who was stationed at King-Williamstown as the governor’s
representative in the new province, was deservedly popular with all but
a few persons of malignant disposition. A more energetic man never
lived, nor one who had the happiness of the people committed to his
charge more at heart. The Xosa chiefs were permitted to govern their
dependents in their old way, though they were now officially termed
British magistrates, fieldcornets, &c., but they were supposed to act
under the supervision of English commissioners, and the most serious
crimes were legally punishable only after trial before European courts.
Missionary effort was encouraged, and respectable traders were permitted
to settle at selected stations, but traffic in munitions of war or in
intoxicating liquor was strictly prohibited.

[Sidenote: Plans of Sir Benjamin D’Urban.]

There were no colonists so simple as to believe that this measure would
immediately put an end to depredations by the Xosas, or that it would in
some almost miraculous way turn barbarians suddenly into civilised men.
But it was generally supposed that under the circumstances then existing
this system was better than any other that could be adopted, and that it
really offered some hope that in course of time a great improvement in
the condition of the Xosas might take place. A small section of the
missionary party thought differently, however, as in their view the
system placed too much restraint upon the black people. With this
trifling exception Sir Benjamin D’Urban’s plans in general were heartily
approved of by nearly every frontier colonist, though many of them
feared that the settlement of the Fingoes on the border might prove to
be a mistake.

Looking back now after the experience of three-quarters of a century, we
can say positively that Sir Benjamin D’Urban’s policy was wise and
benevolent. It might have been better if the Fingoes had not been
located where they were, but this was at the time the best thing that
could be done with them. We can see too that Colonel Smith was over
confident in his influence with the people,--he even believed that he
could depose the chiefs at his will,--for he did not know, as we do, the
cause of the fidelity of the commoners to them. But upon the whole
things were working well, infinitely better indeed than ever before as
far as the European colonists were concerned, while the blacks were in a
position where improvement was much more easy than it had previously

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The party in power in England, however, was decidedly of opinion that a
great wrong of some kind or other must have been done to the Xosas, or
they would not have made war upon the colony. The white people,
consequently, must have been at fault. Lord Glenelg, then secretary of
state for the colonies, in whose hands the destiny of South Africa was
at the time, held this opinion, and issued instructions that British
rule was to be withdrawn from the Province of Queen Adelaide, all the
land east of the Fish and Kat rivers be abandoned to the Xosas, and
treaties of friendship be entered into with the chiefs as independent
and sovereign powers. An officer who was not favourably regarded at that
time by the farmers, though in later years he performed eminent services
for the country, was appointed to carry out these measures, and it was
announced that he would leave England at once. When this information
reached South Africa, the last ray of hope died out in the hearts of the
Dutch-speaking farmers in the eastern districts of the Cape Colony, and
there was a general resolution to abandon the land of their birth and
seek a new home somewhere beyond the border. The British government had
repeatedly announced its fixed determination not to enlarge its domain
in this part of the world, so they believed that upon their removal they
would be free and independent.

The enormous destruction of human life in the wars of Tshaka and
Moselekatse had left wide tracts of land in South Africa almost--in some
instances quite--uninhabited, and although the extent of these wastes
was unknown, the farmers were cognisant of the fact that there were
unoccupied areas where, they thought, they might settle without doing
wrong to any one. One of these nearly vacant tracts was the country
called Natal, which at that time was taken to signify the land between
the Tugela and Umzimvubu rivers, the Kathlamba mountains and the sea. It
was the most beautiful and most fertile part of South Africa, rising in
steps from the ocean to the great wall that bounds the interior plain,
and thus embracing a variety of climates. It was abundantly watered by
the rains driven up from the Indian ocean, and was well drained by
rivers and rivulets that carried the surplus moisture to the sea. Every
one who saw the land spoke of it with enthusiasm, as being one of the
fairest regions on earth, and one of the best adapted to make
comfortable homes in.

[Sidenote: Condition of Natal.]

Some forty Englishmen had settled on the shore of the inlet called Port
Natal, where they made a living chiefly by hunting elephants and
buffaloes and trading with the Zulu chief for ivory. Some of them were
living more like barbarians than civilised men, and were the only
acknowledged heads or chiefs of little bands of fugitives from Zululand,
who placed themselves under the white men’s guidance and protection. A
petty chief named Umnini, who with a few followers lived in a thicket
adjoining the Bluff, and who had concealed himself during the Zulu
invasions, was also a dependent of the white people.[91] On the 23rd of
June 1835 fourteen of these men under the guidance of Captain Allen F.
Gardiner, recently of the royal navy, who was then on a visit to the
country with a view of preparing for the establishment of missions
among the Zulus, signed a petition to Sir Benjamin D’Urban, requesting
him to forward it to the authorities in England, asking that the
territory might be annexed and a proper government be established in it.
They estimated the number of Bantu inhabitants at not less than three
thousand.[92] As some of these men were hunters who knew every inch of
the country, this number might be accepted as at least approximately
correct, though from the observations of others perhaps five or even six
thousand would be more accurate.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

This low estimate is supported by such an amount of trustworthy
testimony that only those who refuse to accept any evidence that is in
conflict with their prejudices can reject it. Nathaniel Isaacs’ _Travels
and Adventures in Eastern Africa, with a Sketch of Natal_, two volumes,
London, 1836,[93] and Gardiner’s _Narrative of a Journey to the Zoolu
Country in South Africa_, London, 1836,[94] support it in general
terms. Mr. Henry Fynn, who lived in Natal from 1824 to 1834, writing in
1838, says: “The number now under the management of the Europeans at
Port Natal amounts to nearly six thousand souls, who would all be
massacred if the Europeans were to be withdrawn from the Port.”[95] All
the documents of the next five years in which mention is made of the
number of black people in Natal agree with it. Only a few years ago Mr.
G. M. Rudolph, when giving evidence before the last Native Affairs
Commission, stated that he did not think there were more than three
thousand natives (_i.e._ Bantu) in Natal when he as a boy nine years of
age went there with the first voortrekkers. A party of farmers, one of
whom was Pieter Lavras Uys, travelled through Kaffraria in 1834 with
fourteen waggons to Port Natal, and after thoroughly inspecting the
uplands as well as the coast belt and the harbour, returned to the Cape
Colony highly satisfied with the country as a desirable locality to
migrate to.

[Sidenote: Betshuana Refugees.]

Of the vast regions north of the Orange river that had been swept nearly
clean by war the farmers knew very little except from the statements of
Betshuana refugees, whose intelligence was vague and often
contradictory. No one of them seemed to know anything beyond the fate of
the particular tribe or clan to which he belonged, and there was always
so much that was fabulous mixed with their accounts that in general no
credence was given to them. Then they could only be spoken to through
interpreters, who were rarely obtainable and whose knowledge of any
other language than their own was usually very defective.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

This was the condition of things on the frontier of the Cape Colony when
the emigration of the Dutch-speaking farmers commenced, an emigration
without parallel in any other dependency of Great Britain. The farmers
formed themselves in little bands and moved away together, under the
leadership of an elected commandant, whose authority, however, was very

The first band to leave the colony with the intention of never returning
to it had as its head a man named Louis Triegard, fifty-three years of
age, who had been living in the district of Somerset. He was the
grandson of a Swede, who came to South Africa in the service of the
Dutch East India Company, and married here in 1744. His father, Carel
Johannes Triegard, was one of those farmers of Bruintjes Hoogte who in
1796 were most opposed to the recognition of British authority in
Graaff-Reinet, and he inherited his parent’s prejudice in this respect.
He was married to Martha Elizabeth Susanna Bouwer, and had a family of
five children.

Triegard had received only an elementary education from an itinerant
schoolmaster, just sufficient to enable him to write a letter or keep a
journal in such a way that his meaning could be made out, but his
understanding was by no means defective. He had a passionate temper,
though he was usually able to keep it under control. Among the farmers
he was regarded as a wealthy man, and his establishment was much larger
than those of his neighbours.

In June 1834 Louis Triegard moved away from the district of Somerset,
and camped out for a time on the banks of the White Kei river, beyond
the border of the colony. According to the declaration of one of his
slaves, who ran away from him there, and who appeared before the civil
commissioner of Albany at Grahamstown on the 10th of September, he had
previously purchased from a storekeeper in that place one large and two
small kegs of gunpowder, which he had taken with him. On the banks of
the White Kei about thirty emigrant families were then living, among
whom were those of Adriaan de Lange, his four sons Adriaan, Hans,
Robert, and Gerrit, Frans van Aardt, Hans van der Merwe, and Sybrand van
Dyk. Triegard had three female and seven men slaves, but the others had
only five slaves among them all. While in the colony Triegard was a mild
master, but when he got beyond the border his conduct changed, and he
became harsh.

[Sidenote: Conduct of Louis Triegard.]

On the 21st of November 1834 the civil commissioner reported that all of
Triegard’s slaves and four of the others had run away and reached
Grahamstown safely, only one, belonging to Frans van Aardt, remaining at
the White Kei. By removing them beyond the border, their masters had
forfeited their right to them,[96] so they were all declared emancipated
without any further action, and were permitted to take service as free
persons with any individuals in the town who might care to employ them.

At the close of this year the sixth Kaffir war commenced, and the Rarabe
clans held out until September 1835. When negotiations for peace were
being conducted, the chief Tyali stated that Louis Triegard had
persuaded the Xosas to continue hostilities so long, but there is no
other positive evidence to this effect. It is difficult to believe that
he would have tried to bring evil upon his own countrymen, but there is
the incriminating fact against him that he moved northward with the
notorious robber captain Jalusa, who carried on a career of violence and
indiscriminate plunder until his entire band of between a thousand and
twelve hundred individuals, with only eight exceptions, was exterminated
in September 1836 by the Basuto of Moshesh. The authorities on the
frontier in the meantime, being convinced that he was doing much harm,
but being unable to arrest him in his retreat beyond the border, were
making secret inquiries into his conduct and movements, of which very
likely he came to learn, for early in September 1835 he crossed the
Orange river and became the leader of the first band of emigrants into
the then unknown interior.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

He had with him his wife and four children, his son Carel with wife and
two children, Pieter Johannes Hendrik Botha with wife and five children,
J. Pretorius with wife and four children, G. Scheepers with wife and
nine children, H. Strydom with wife and five children, an old man named
Daniel Pfeffer who made his living as a schoolmaster, and a Frenchman
named Isaac Albacht, who had a coloured woman as a consort and five

This party was joined before it crossed the Orange river by another of
equal size, consisting of Jan van Rensburg as leader, with wife and four
children, S. Bronkhorst with wife and six children, G. Bronkhorst the
elder with wife and one child, G. Bronkhorst the younger with wife,
Jacobus de Wet with wife, F. van Wyk with wife and two children, P.
Viljoen with wife and six children, H. Aucamp with wife and three
children, N. Prins with wife and eight children, and M. Prins.

Together they had thirty waggons. After crossing the Orange they
continued their course northward, travelling just as suited their
inclination or convenience until they reached the place now known as
Potgieter’s Rust, in the Zoutpansberg, where they arrived in May 1836.
In passing through the vast almost uninhabited waste beyond the Orange
river they had escaped the observation of Moselekatse’s warriors, and
had met so few blacks that they considered themselves quite secure. The
men hunted game constantly on horseback, and had seen vast areas of land
suited for settlement, but as they wished to open communication with the
outer world through Delagoa Bay, they had gone on until they believed
themselves to be in the latitude of that port.

[Sidenote: Fate of Rensburg’s Party.]

At the Zoutpansberg they halted while the young men explored the country
around, which they considered admirably adapted for stock-breeding and
agriculture. They were in ignorance that Moselekatse’s kraals were only
four hundred kilometres or two hundred and fifty English miles to the
south-west, and of the ferocity of the Matabele they likewise knew
nothing, or they would not have been so satisfied with the locality.
They were almost at the mouth of a lion’s den, and yet were so utterly
careless that in July 1836 the families composing Rensburg’s division,
consisting of forty-nine individuals, left the others with the object of
proceeding to Delagoa Bay to open up communication and trade with the
Portuguese who had recently rebuilt a fort there. From that time nothing
definite is known of these people. A report reached Triegard some months
afterwards that they had all been murdered by a band of Magwamba
robbers, and this was confirmed in later years by the accounts of
various blacks, but just when and where it occurred could never be

It was commonly believed in the Transvaal Republic a generation later,
and the newspapers circulated the statement widely, that in August 1867
a white man and woman, who spoke no language but that of the Eastern
Bantu, and whose habits were those of barbarians, were sent to
Commandant Coetzer, of Lydenburg, by a Swazi chief who had obtained them
from the Magwamba. They could tell nothing of their history except that
they believed they had always lived among Bantu; but as they had never
seen other whites that they could remember, it was concluded that they
were the sole survivors of Rensburg’s party, and that they were very
young when their relatives were murdered. For some time they had lived
as man and wife, and had two children when they were handed over to
Commandant Coetzer. This was the tale generally accepted as correct at
the time, but the man and woman believed to be Europeans were in
reality albinos of pure Bantu blood.[97]

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

From a journal kept by Triegard, a fragment of which, commencing on the
25th of January 1837 and ending on the 1st of May 1838, has fortunately
been preserved, the history of those who were left behind at the
Zoutpansberg is known. On the 11th of May 1837 Triegard wrote to the
authorities at Lourenço Marques that the party was in great want of
clothing and ammunition, and asking if horned cattle, wethers, wool, and
hides would be received in barter. They were then seven families of
forty-six souls, only nine of whom were males capable of bearing arms.
This letter was sent by Gabriel Buys, accompanied by a Knobnose black
named Waiwai. Buys was a son of the notorious freebooter Coenraad du
Buis, who had fled from the eastern frontier of the Cape Colony many
years before, and after carrying on extensive depredations in Southern
Betshuanaland, at the head of a band of ruffians, had become afraid that
ministers of justice might be sent to apprehend him there, so had moved
on to the Zoutpansberg and become the first European resident in the
present Transvaal province. As he had done at the Keiskama he did in his
new home in the north: he took to himself a harem of Bantu women, by
whom he had numerous children. Among these were Gabriel and an elder
brother named Doris, who attached themselves temporarily to Triegard’s
party, and as they spoke Dutch and Setshuana, were of great service.
Doris remained behind as interpreter and general servant when Gabriel
proceeded to Delagoa Bay with the letter.

[Sidenote: Life at the Zoutpansberg.]

They had over five hundred head of horned cattle and a flock of sheep
and goats, the care of which occupied most of their attention. Game was
plentiful, and they obtained some millet and sweet cane from the blacks
who were thinly scattered about in their neighbourhood, so that there
was no want of plain food, but the women missed greatly such articles as
coffee and sugar. The men had accustomed themselves to the use of millet
beer, and Triegard was always pleased to receive a calabash filled with
it as a present from the head of a Bantu kraal, using the precaution,
however, of requiring the donor according to the custom of the
barbarians to take the first draught. As they had used all their lead,
they cast bullets of copper and of tin, both of which metals were
obtainable, though no information is given as to how or through whose
means they were procured. Occasionally, though very rarely, they were
able to get in barter a piece of calico that had passed through the
country from Delagoa Bay, being handed on from one clan to another for
sale. It is interesting to read in Triegard’s journal that, rough a life
as they were leading, they observed Sunday as well as they could, and
that a school was kept for the children. It is to be noted also that
even in this little party there was a spirit of disagreement, and that
Triegard’s leadership, owing to the feeling of absolute equality among
the different heads of families, was hardly even nominal, much less

On the 7th of August Gabriel Buys and the Knobnose Waiwai returned from
Delagoa Bay. No one there could read Triegard’s letter, but the
Portuguese officer in command of the fort, understanding that the
emigrants wished to visit him, sent two black soldiers to show them the
way. Accordingly on the 23rd of that month they broke up their camp,
and set out on the journey to the coast, with the intention, however, of
returning and settling permanently in the goodly locality they had
found. From Gabriel Buys and the men who accompanied him they obtained
only a vague idea of the distance they would have to travel or of the
obstacles in their way. They were in reality about three hundred and
thirty-six kilometres or two hundred and ten English miles in a straight
line from Lourenço Marques, which lay almost due south-east, for without
knowing it they had gone fully a hundred and ninety kilometres farther
north than its latitude. So far they had enjoyed excellent health, as
after passing the Stormberg they had been on the high plateau, and
travelling from south to north they had not met with any serious
obstacles. They were now to have a very different experience.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

They travelled past the mountains, since so famous as the strongholds of
the Bapedi, where Sekwati, who was then a very petty chief, was living,
and who sent them a kindly greeting. They came next to the great range,
which lay between them and the coast terraces, where trouble of no
ordinary kind was before them. The black Portuguese soldiers had
traversed the range on foot, and had no conception of waggon traffic, so
they were absolutely useless as guides. A road had to be made, and they
managed to obtain some Bantu labourers by paying them in sheep, but when
it was completed it was just passable in most places and so dangerous at
one spot that some of the party rather than venture on it preferred to
take their waggons to pieces and lower the separate parts down the face
of a precipice.

In the mountains their cattle were attacked by the tsetse, an insect a
little larger than a common fly, but though they had once before
suffered loss from this destructive pest, they did not pay much
attention to it at first. They were doubtful of its being the same as
that they had formerly seen, but soon their oxen began to pine away and
die, when they found themselves in a deplorable condition. Still they
pushed on, and by dint of almost superhuman exertions, managed to get
through the Lebombo, the last range on their way. The cattle were dying
fast, when on the 8th of April 1838, to their great joy, they were met
by a messenger from the commandant of the Portuguese fort at Lourenço
Marques. This messenger had come up the river Umbelosi in a boat, and
had brought a present of provisions, rum, medicines, and even some
articles of clothing, which were most acceptable.

[Sidenote: Suffering at Delagoa Bay.]

Triegard now transferred his ivory and other heavy effects to the boat,
and with his lightened waggons pushed on to the fort, which he reached
on the 15th of April 1838, two hundred and thirty-five days after
leaving Makapan’s Poort at the Zoutpansberg. The party then consisted of
fifty-seven individuals, namely five married men and their wives, two
widowers, one widow, eight lads over sixteen years of age, fourteen lads
under sixteen years of age, four girls over sixteen years of age, seven
girls under sixteen years of age, four half-caste children of Albacht,
and seven Betshuana and Bushman servants.

The Portuguese received them with much kindness, though they were
required at first to give up their guns. These, however, were soon
restored to them, and whatever could be thought of to make them
comfortable was done. Triegard informed the commandant of the fort that
he had left the Cape Colony because the frontier had been ruined by the
Xosas, the slaves had been set free by the English, and the government
desired to make soldiers of the Afrikanders. It was evident that they
could not return to the Zoutpansberg, but they had not decided what next
to undertake when they were attacked by fever. The first to die was old.
Daniel Pfeffer, who expired on the 21st of April, at the age of 78
years. He was followed on the 29th of April by P. J. Hendrik Botha, who
was 37 years of age. Next came Louis Triegard’s wife, who died on the
1st of May. When she fell ill the Portuguese commandant had her carried
into the best room in the fort, and his own wife tended her day after
day with the utmost kindness until she died. With a great cry of anguish
over his terrible loss Triegard closed his journal, and no particulars
can be ascertained of occurrences during the next fifteen months that
the party remained at Lourenço Marques. Months of intense suffering,
physical and mental, they must have been, of this there can be no doubt.
Actual hunger may have been averted by the kindness of the Portuguese
officers, but the resources of these good people were very limited, and
such food as was obtainable must have consisted mainly, if not entirely,
of millet and other produce of the gardens of the Bantu.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Their number was constantly diminishing by fever, till at length the
emigrants who had settled in Natal, hearing where and in what condition
they were, chartered the schooner _Mazeppa_ to proceed to Delagoa Bay to
their relief, and in July 1839 the remnant of the party, consisting of
Mrs. H. Botha and five children, Mrs. G. Scheepers and five children,
Mrs. J. Pretorius and two children, three young men, and seven orphan
children, were landed at Durban. One young man, son of Louis Triegard,
had gone to Mozambique in a Portuguese vessel before the _Mazeppa_
reached the bay, but in the following year he managed to travel overland
to his friends in Natal. Thus of the ninety-eight individuals who formed
the first party of emigrants all had perished except the twenty-six who
reached Natal in a state of utter destitution.



[Sidenote: Progress of Emigration.]

The second party to leave the colony was under the leadership of Andries
Hendrik Potgieter, and consisted of farmers whose religious tendencies
were towards the separatist--equivalent to the Scottish
Covenanter--section of the church. They migrated chiefly from the Tarka.
A full account of their wanderings and actions, of their sufferings from
the Matabele and their heroic conduct until Moselekatse was compelled to
flee northward to the territory now called Rhodesia, together with the
adventures of the party from Colesberg under Carel Cilliers that joined
them is given in my _History of South Africa_, and it is unnecessary to
repeat it here.

The third party was under the leadership of Gerrit Marthinus Maritz, and
went from the neighbourhood of Graaff-Reinet. It was much larger than
the one under Potgieter. On the 2nd of December 1836 these parties, who
were then in the neighbourhood of Thaba Ntshu, attempted to establish a
government and elected a court of justice, with Maritz as landdrost or
president. Various small parties and even single families now arrived,
and joined either Potgieter or Maritz according to the section of the
church that they preferred.

The next large party was headed by Pieter Retief, and went from the
Winterberg. On the 17th of April 1837 a meeting of the emigrants was
held in the camp of Maritz,[98] when Pieter Retief was elected
administrative head, but he was not then installed in office, as the
section under Potgieter took no part in the proceedings, and the others
hoped that they might be induced to join in course of time. Potgieter
and Maritz had quarrelled, and from this time forward harmony among the
emigrants was rarely seen.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

On the 6th of June 1837 Mr. Retief was formally installed in office as
governor and commandant-general, a volksraad of six members was elected
and entrusted with full legislative power, and a provisional
constitution of nine articles was adopted. Whether these proceedings
were not premature may be open to doubt. The number of emigrants north
of the Orange was then not very great, many more were known to be on
their way, and for these few to exercise the power of modelling the
future government and appointing the chief executive officer seemed
unjustifiable to most of those who arrived afterwards. There was no
question as to the ability of Pieter Retief and his fitness for the
highest office, but that he should be appointed to it by a section of
the community and the others be required simply to concur was regarded
as a grievance.

Mr. Retief’s first proceeding proved him to be a man of tact. He
actually succeeded in inducing Hendrik Potgieter, the representative of
the separatist or Covenanter section of the church, to meet in a
friendly manner Gerrit Maritz, the representative of the larger section
of the church,[99] a man accused by his opponents of ambitious views and
not very conciliatory in demeanour. It is true that these men had once
fought side by side, when Maritz generously assisted the other to
recover the spoil taken by the Matabele in August 1836 in their
murderous onslaughts on the camps north of the Vaal, but the
constitution of mind of the Covenanter seems to differ from that of
other men so much as to make concord difficult except under unusual
circumstances. It need not be asked whether his views are more or less
praiseworthy than those of his neighbours, but it must be admitted that
as a rule he looks upon most matters from a different standpoint. And so
the good feeling between the two leaders brought about by Mr. Retief was
only temporary, and from the first Potgieter resolutely declined to give
in his adherence to the political faction led by Maritz.

[Sidenote: Progress of Emigration.]

The fifth large party arrived at Thaba Ntshu at this time. It was under
the leadership of Mr. Pieter Jacobs, and went from the district of
Beaufort West, being composed largely of families connected with the
Slachter’s Nek insurrection. These people joined the adherents of Retief
and Maritz, though they continued to form a separate camp.

Next to cross the Orange was a large party from Oliphants Hoek, under
the leadership of Pieter Lavras Uys, though his father, Jacobus Johannes
Uys, was nominally its head. The old man was nearly seventy years of
age, and the party was entirely composed of his immediate descendants
and connections by marriage. It is of Pieter Lavras Uys, and the part he
took in the emigration, that the remainder of this paper will deal, the
information being largely drawn from the documents contained in the
D’Urban collection.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

He was descended from Cornelis Uys, who with his wife and three children
migrated from Leyden in Holland as colonists at the beginning of the
eighteenth century, when the Dutch East India Company was sending to the
Cape settlement as many industrious families accustomed to agriculture
as it could obtain. Dirk, one of the three children of Cornelis, was
born at Leyden, but grew up in South Africa, and in 1722 married Dina le
Roux, daughter of a Huguenot refugee from Provence. The fifth child of
this marriage, Cornelis Janse by name, in 1766 married Alida Maria
Swart, and from this union eleven children were born, the second of
whom, Jacobus Johannes by name, in 1793 married Susanna Margaretha
Moolman. When grown up, this Jacobus Johannes Uys went to reside in
Oliphants Hoek in what became later the district of Uitenhage, and there
in 1797 his third child, Pieter Lavras, was born.[100]

Any one who will take the trouble to watch the career of South African
students at European universities, say at Leyden or Edinburgh, will find
that they occupy prominent places in their classes. The sons of men
whose ancestors for many generations had received very little education
from books on their farms are found intellectually able to compete in
study with the sons of Europeans who have long enjoyed the greatest
facilities for acquiring knowledge. This is a most hopeful sign for the
future of South Africa. If with vastly increased knowledge our young men
only adhere to the sterling virtues and strong confidence in God that
characterised their ancestors, there need be no fear for this country in
the time to come.

It is true that there are in South Africa many poor white people, some
of whom seem to have lost both the power and the inclination to raise
themselves in the social scale. But with education, industrial training,
and opportunities to acquire property, the great majority of these would
undoubtedly rise again, and the residue are at least more capable of
improvement than the unemployables in a European city. In all countries
of the world there are weak-minded people of different degrees of
imbecility, but in South Africa the number of these is very small, and
white men and women with criminal instincts are almost unknown. If an
average be taken the old colonists need not fear a comparison of
intellect with the inhabitants of any country in Europe.

[Sidenote: Character of Pieter Uys.]

Pieter Uys was of the best stamp of man to be found in South Africa. He
had not the advantage of a university training or even of a good school
education, but he had the capacity of drawing information from every
source within his reach, and putting it to the best use. He could write
a letter or draw up a document in clear and concise Cape Dutch, and he
was acquainted with what was going on over the sea. His upright conduct,
his religious convictions, and his kindly disposition caused him to be
held in general esteem, not only by his Dutch-speaking neighbours, but
by the English settlers of Albany, with whom he was brought into close
contact during the Kaffir war of 1835.

When the farmers were temporarily released from duty in the field in
order to get crops in the ground, he found himself so thwarted by the
unruly conduct of the apprentices, late slaves and Betshuana refugees
alike, that he addressed a memorial to the authorities, representing the
insufficiency of the existing laws for their correction, and praying for
the interference and protection of the government.[101] It was
impossible for Sir Benjamin D’Urban to give him any relief, but even if
it had been otherwise, he would probably have left the colony, for he
had been charmed with the appearance of Natal, the almost uninhabited
territory that he had visited in the preceding year.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

It is impossible to give even approximately the number of those who had
left the Cape Colony before this time. The government called for returns
from the civil commissioners of the different districts, and in July
1837 these officials reported that one thousand and sixty-seven persons
had left and two hundred and sixty others were about to follow. But
these numbers are certainly much too low, though the estimate of Mr. Uys
given in his letter of the 7th of August is probably too large.

It was the intention of the party under Uys to proceed to Natal, but not
to attempt to go through Kaffraria. He had found such difficulties in
travelling there in 1834 that he thought a better road might be found by
moving northward over the Orange river, and then seeking a pass through
the Drakensbergen that would lead him to the beautiful land below. This
was the route that he followed, and at the beginning of August 1837 he
and his party were on the northern bank of the Great river, without
having met with any accident on the way. On the 7th of that month he
addressed a letter to Sir Benjamin D’Urban, of which a literal
translation made for the governor’s use and preserved among his papers
is given here _in extenso_:

“Orange River, 7th August 1837.

     “SIR,--I beg to submit to your Excellency a statement of what I
     have observed since I left Capetown and set out on my journey
     beyond the Orange river. I there met more than three thousand
     persons, lately inhabitants of the Colony, who have left their
     country and gone to a foreign land, even to a desert. I have spoken
     to many old men amongst them, with the view of ascertaining their
     reasons for leaving their native country, and they give the
     following as the principal causes:

     “1. The laws made for this colony by Parliament, however
     inapplicable to the people and their condition, must be implicitly

     [Sidenote: Causes of the Emigration.]

     “2. We were put to great expense for the measurement, of our farms
     prior to their grant, and for a small farm must pay an annual rent
     of from forty to two hundred rixdollars. (£3 to £15.)

     “3. All power of domestic coercion of our apprentices in our houses
     and on our farms has been taken away from us, which has brought the
     apprentices into such a state of insubordination as to expose us to
     the risk of the loss of property and even life. Neither have we the
     right to defend ourselves against these people who live at our
     expense, and if they think proper go to a magistrate and make a
     false oath, without witnesses, upon which we are seized by black
     and white constables, in the same manner as murderers, and brought
     before the court, to the great injury of our reputation; whilst if
     they lose their cause, then the costs are paid from the government
     chest, to which we must pay heavy taxes annually; and if we are
     condemned, we must then pay a fine out of our own pockets or be
     sent to prison. On this point your Excellency is aware how I myself
     was treated in the late Kaffir war and whilst I was in presence of
     the enemy and my property left unprotected;[102] which vexatious
     treatment has also had great influence on many of the inhabitants.

     “4. The, slaves who were our property, who cost us much money, and
     for whom we paid every government due, have been taken from us upon
     an appraisement made by order of Parliament, and have become free
     for a third part of the money at which they were valued, and our
     power of maintaining order and discipline having been taken away,
     the masters and mistresses are scandalously treated.

     [Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

     “5. The last Kaffir invasion is also one of the causes. The Kaffirs
     have for many years murdered and plundered the inhabitants, and
     government has always held out hopes of improvement in this
     respect, if we would remain at peace with them; and now, to crown
     the whole, we are accused of being the cause of the war, and must
     lose all our cattle, as well as put up with our other losses.

     “I have stated but a few of the points upon which the greatest
     stress is laid by the colonists who have emigrated. To state every
     point would go too much into detail; but these will be sufficient
     to show why the people are discontented.

     “The inhabitants asked for a vagrant law, but that was refused.
     They asked for power to punish their insubordinate apprentices, but
     this was also refused. Many of them prayed to be relieved from
     taxes for the first year after the war, but this was not acceded
     to. Their waggons, oxen, and horses were used for the purposes of
     the war, but they received no satisfactory remuneration. Several
     other things are also stated, too many to be mentioned here.

     “I hope your Excellency will be convinced of the truth of what I
     have here said, and I do not doubt that if it had been in your
     power, our country would now be in a prosperous state; but, as it
     is, our country is ruined, for we see that everything taken by you
     from the enemy has been restored to them, which will more encourage

     “To make the country yet more unfortunate, we see with astonishment
     a governor who could do much good by the existing laws, and we see
     other persons, such as missionaries and other prejudiced writers,
     who are believed, whilst what this governor writes is not attended

     [Sidenote: Political Attitude of Uys.]

     “We address memorials to the governor and to parliament, but we
     find no change. Now we see the mischievous effects to the
     inhabitants, and we are thus obliged to quit the colony. It is not
     our fault that we leave our native land; we have begged and prayed
     for a change, and none is made. We therefore emigrate, but we
     shall, notwithstanding, not yet separate ourselves from our
     respected governor, who endeavoured to do us good; and whenever we
     can be of any assistance, we shall not fail to afford it.

     “If I can be of any use to your Excellency, or any report of mine
     be of service to a governor whom I so much esteem, I shall spare no
     trouble; and I remain, etc.

“P. L. UYS, Commandant.”

The political position, or the attitude assumed by Pieter Uys and his
party towards the emigrants who had preceded them, was one of
independence. As well he thought might he assert authority over Mr.
Retief as Mr. Retief over him. The time had not yet come for framing a
constitution, which should be deferred until the tide of emigration had
slackened, when it could be done with the consent of the whole body of
the people, and not merely of a small section of them. Accordingly on
the 14th of August 1837 a series of resolutions were drawn up and
signed, placing their attitude clearly before their countrymen. These
resolutions literally translated were as follows:

“Caledon River, 14th August 1837.

     “Resolutions adopted by us, the undersigned travellers and exiles
     from the colony of the Cape of Good Hope, now on our journey
     between the Orange and Vet rivers. We make known to our countrymen
     in advance with what object and intention we have undertaken our
     journey, and that our unanimous wish is:

     “1. To select the country called the Bay of Port Natal as our

     [Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

     “2. To inspect the extent of country joining the same inland, as
     far as we shall deem necessary.

     “3. That we have placed ourselves under certain chiefs as field
     commandants, as protecting leaders over us, to investigate and
     redress all grievances that may take place on our journey.

     “4. We place our dependence on the Allwise Ruler of heaven and
     earth, and are resolved to adhere to the sure foundation of our
     reformed Christian religion, entertaining the hope that when we
     have reached the place of our destination we shall live a better
     and safer life.

     “5. As regards the establishment and execution of legal authority
     as exercised by some of our countrymen, we must unanimously declare
     that we entirely disapprove thereof; and we shall only regulate
     ourselves in the wilderness by the old burgher regulations and
     duties, and all differences which may arise shall be adjusted in
     accordance with those burgher regulations.

     “6. We have come to the final determination not to submit to any
     laws that may have been established by a few individuals, and which
     we conceive have a tendency to reduce us from a state of banishment
     to a state of slavery.

     “7. When we shall have attained our object and have arrived at the
     place of our destination, we trust to see the whole of our
     countrymen assembled together, then by the public voice to proceed
     to the election and appointment of our chief rulers and the framing
     of proper laws, and in general to consider what is useful both for
     the country and the people.

     “8. The judicial appointments and laws as now established will not
     be noticed by us in the slightest degree, but are considered as of
     no value.

     “9. We trust that every burgher will participate in these
     sentiments, in order to be placed in the situation of a free

     “10. We purpose to establish our settlement on the same principles
     of liberty as those adopted by the United States of America,
     carrying into effect, as far as practicable, our burgher laws.
     Every person agreeing herewith will therefore attach his signature
     for the information of those who are still in doubt on the subject.

                                       “P. L. UYS,
                                        J. J. UYS,
                                        J. P. MOOLMAN,
                                        H. J. POTGIETER,
                                        J. LANDMAN,
                                        And 165 others.”

[Sidenote: Action of Pieter Retief.]

At this time Mr. Retief was preparing to send an expedition against
Moselekatse, to follow up the blow struck at Mosega in January 1837 by
the commandos under Gerrit Maritz and Hendrik Potgieter. The Matabele
had provoked hostilities by the robbery and massacre of a hunting party
under Fieldcornet Stephanus Petrus Erasmus, of the Kraai river,[103] and
of many emigrant families belonging to the party of Potgieter who had
imprudently ventured across the Vaal. But this expedition was not
carried out, Mr. Retief’s partisans assigning as a reason that they
believed the Griquas under Adam Kok and Andries Waterboer would attack
the camps while so many of the men were away, but the real cause
probably being the dissensions between the emigrants themselves.

In October 1837 Mr. Retief, having found a pass in the Drakensbergen,
with some of his followers went down into Natal, and Messrs. Potgieter
and Uys determined to carry out the plan of attacking the Matabele
again. Uys had no personal interest in the matter, for he had resolved
to settle in Natal, but his sympathy with his countrymen led him to
assist them against the barbarians who had done them so much injury. On
the 19th of this month he concluded an agreement of friendship with
Moroko, chief of the principal section of the Barolong at Thaba Ntshu,
and immediately afterwards the two commandos set out from the camps on
the border of the Caledon and at Winburg. One of the most important
campaigns yet entered upon in South Africa between Europeans and Bantu
had commenced.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

An account of this campaign has been given in my _History of South
Africa_, and Dr. J. C. Voigt has entered even more fully into the
details of the nine days’ struggle on the Marikwa than I did.[104] The
result of this expedition was the flight of the whole Matabele tribe to
the country north of the Limpopo, the opening of the territory now
comprised in the Transvaal Province and the Orange Free State to
European settlers, and the relief of the remnants of the Betshuana
tribes from the misery in which they had been existing. It would be
difficult to exaggerate the importance of the victory on the Marikwa in
November 1837 to civilisation and the happiness of both white and black
people in South Africa. And yet Pieter Lavras Uys, one of the leaders of
the little band of brave men who risked their lives against terrible
odds and won it, is well nigh forgotten in the land he served so well.

On the 21st of July 1837 Mr. Retief had written to Sir Benjamin D’Urban
a letter of which the following is a translation:

     “The undersigned Pieter Retief, as conductor-in-chief of the united
     encampments, most humbly sheweth,

     “That we as subjects of the British government during our
     distressed circumstances submitted our grievances to his Majesty
     the King; but as all our endeavours proved fruitless, we have
     ultimately found ourselves compelled to quit the land of our birth
     in order that we might not become guilty of opposition or rebellion
     against our government.

     [Sidenote: Letter of Pieter Retief.]

     “That this abandonment of our native country has occasioned us
     enormous and incalculable losses, but that notwithstanding this we
     on our side will not show any enmity towards the British nation.

     “That consequently all trade and commerce between us and the
     British merchants will on our part be free and uninterrupted, as
     with all other nations, with this understanding that we desire to
     be considered as a free and independent people.

     “That we have learnt with grief that almost all the native tribes
     by whom we are now surrounded have been instigated to attack us;
     but although we feel ourselves fully able to resist all our
     enemies, we would however beg of your Excellency to prevent, as far
     as lies in your power, such hostilities, so that we may not be
     compelled to spill human blood, which has already been the case
     with Moselekatse.

     “That we will prove to the world by our conduct that it never has
     been our intention unlawfully to molest any nation or people; but
     that on the contrary we have no greater satisfaction than in the
     general peace and amity of all mankind.

     “That, finally, we confidently trust that the British government
     will allow us to receive the amount of all the just claims and
     demands which we still have within the colony. I have &c.


This letter seems to have taken a long time to reach the governor. On
the 25th of October 1837 he wrote the following note upon it:

     “A little time must be suffered to elapse before any answer be sent
     to this, and this of necessity, because there are three contending
     chiefs: Retief, Maritz (_sic_, it should be Potgieter), and Uys;
     and although Retief has now the greatest influence, yet it does not
     extend over the whole of the emigrants, nor is there any positive
     certainty that it will continue. Before the government condescends
     to treat with them at all, it must at least be certain that it
     treats with an acknowledged and undivided authority; this matter
     must lay by, therefore, for a while, which also may afford time for
     an answer to the dispatch of July last, in which the question is
     asked of his Majesty’s government ‘What are the relations to be in
     future kept between the emigrants and the colonial government?’ And
     in the meanwhile the emigrants are moving far out of contact with
     the Colony, to the eastward, so that there can arise in the interim
     no collision between them and the colonial authorities or
     inhabitants.--B. D’URBAN.”

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Of Pieter Retief’s negotiations with the Zulu chief Dingan, of the
removal to Natal of the whole of the party that adhered to him, and of
the terrible massacres of the emigrants by the Zulus, nothing needs to
be stated here.[105] These events are fully recorded in my _History of
South Africa_ and in Mr. G. S. Preller’s _Piet Retief: Lewenskets van
die Grote Voortrekker_, (6de druk), a demi octavo volume of one hundred
and ninety-four pages, published at Pretoria in 1909.

[Sidenote: Visit of Pieter Uys to Natal.]

It was the intention of Mr. Potgieter to settle on the highlands of the
interior and to endeavour to open communication with the outer world if
possible through the Portuguese harbour of Delagoa Bay. Mr. Uys, on the
other hand, had from the first resolved to make homes for himself and
his party in the neighbourhood of Port Natal. But he was not in a hurry
to move over the mountains, especially as the pasture around his
temporary camp was good, and the cattle, large and small, would be the
better of a long rest after their journey from Oliphants Hoek. With a
few companions on horseback, however, he rode over to inspect the
country again, and on the 15th of December 1837 arrived in the first of
the camps under Retief and Maritz on the Bushman’s river in Natal.

There the question of the form and personnel of the government was the
topic of discussion again, and it became evident to Mr. Uys that he and
his adherents would be in a minority in Natal. He therefore stated that
after his party had arrived and settled on farms he would be prepared to
abide by the decision of a majority of the whole community, but he could
not be induced to sign a document pledging fidelity to Mr. Retief as
governor and commandant-general, which was pressed upon him. After a
short visit he returned to his camp on the highlands, and was there when
the heartrending tidings reached him of the treacherous massacre of Mr.
Retief and his companions at Dingan’s kraal on the 6th of February 1838
and of the even more atrocious massacre of men, women, and children
alike, near the present village of Weenen on the 17th of the same month.

All political differences disappeared at once on receipt of this sad
intelligence, and as soon as possible Uys and his men were on their way
to the assistance of their sorely afflicted countrymen and women who
were still alive in Natal. So quickly was the commando got together and
so rapidly did it ride that it arrived at the camp on the 1st of March
1838. Potgieter also assembled his men as speedily as he could, and went
down into Natal with the same intention.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The condition of things there was wretched. The survivors of the
massacre were huddled together in lagers, each under a commandant, but
all close together to ensure their safety, and recognising Mr. Maritz as
commandant-general and president of the council of war. Every day they
were expecting another attack from Dingan’s army. Constant watch had
therefore to be kept, and the men did not venture to move about unarmed,
while the women were confined to the precincts of the lagers.

The accession of strength derived from the commandos of Uys and
Potgieter made it unnecessary to act solely on the defensive any longer.
Offensive operations were decided upon, not only with a view of
punishing the Zulus, but of proving to them that the arms and tactics of
Europeans were so superior that a prolonged conflict would be averted,
and peace based upon the white man’s supremacy be secured. But the
emigrants had still much to learn. The heavy firelocks that they carried
were indeed more formidable weapons than the Zulu stabbing spears, but
were far short of being as efficient as modern rifles. To load them it
was necessary to pour a certain quantity of powder from a horn into the
barrel, to insert a wad and beat it down with a ramrod, then to put in
the slugs or a ball and wad down again, and finally to put priming in
the pan and adjust the flint and lock. All this took time, even with the
most expert and practised man, and while the gun was being loaded its
owner was practically unarmed. The difference between a modern military
rifle and a gun used by a South African farmer in 1838 is vastly greater
in point of efficiency in conflict than that between such a gun and a
Zulu stabbing spear.

Then as to military tactics. The farmer considered himself superior,
simply because he was a civilised man. He was accustomed to circumvent
game, and used the same methods in war that he used in the chase. But he
had yet to learn that many a Zulu induna as well as the wily chief of
the mountain, who was even then gathering strength at Thaba Bosigo, was
greatly his superior in military skill. The almost naked black man,
whose general knowledge was so defective that he might be regarded as
intellectually little superior to a child, in all that relates to
tactics and strategy was in advance of the ordinary untrained European.

[Sidenote: Arrangements to punish Dingan.]

It was arranged that Uys and Potgieter with all the men they could
muster should advance towards Dingan’s residence from the camp on the
Bushman’s river, and that the English chiefs with their warriors should
cross the Tugela much nearer its mouth and press on towards the same
point. It was hoped in this way to divide Dingan’s forces, and it was
certain that the black army of Natal, as the English chiefs called their
followers, would fight desperately, as their existence depended upon
victory over the Zulus. Several hundreds of them were armed with
muskets, which their chiefs had imported and paid for with ivory, and
their leaders were brave and capable men. But this really formidable
force was drawn into an ambush by the strategy of the Zulu commander who
was sent to oppose it, and after such a battle as is only fought by men
who know that they must conquer or die, it was almost annihilated.[106]

As neither Potgieter nor Uys would serve under Maritz, who may have been
wanting in tact and was certainly charged with being overbearing in his
manner, though no man could have been more devoted to the public welfare
than he, it was resolved that he should remain to protect the camps in
case of attack, and that they should lead their respective adherents in
separate commandos, but acting in concert with each other, to attack
Dingan in his principal kraal Umkungunklovu. The two commandos, when
finally mustered, numbered three hundred and forty-seven men, exclusive
of a few coloured attendants. Their commissariat and spare ammunition
was taken with them on pack horses.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Neither of the leaders had a full conception of the hazardous nature of
their expedition. A much smaller force than that under their command
could have marched anywhere in the Xosa or Tembu country, and by keeping
on open plains or ridges have been perfectly safe. They had served in
the Kaffir war, and knew this. Then their decisive defeat of the
Matabele had inspired them with the belief that they were invincible.
They did not reflect that perhaps the field of operations against Dingan
might not be so favourable to them as that against Moselekatse had been,
and so they rode on in unbounded confidence. For five days they saw
hardly any people, as the inhabitants had removed by order of Dingan to
places of greater safety.

On the 11th of April 1838 they were close to the spot where eight months
and five days later in the same year the battle was fought that gave to
the stream from which they drank the name Blood River and to the date of
the memorable engagement the name Dingan’s Day. Here for the first time
since they left the camp they saw what appeared to them to be a small
Zulu army. They drew hastily into battle order, and then dashed forward
to charge, Potgieter with his men on one wing of the enemy, and Uys with
his on the centre. The Zulus did not wait to meet the shock, but fled as
fast as they could, and the farmers pursued them. Uys and his followers
were too eager in the chase to act with proper caution, and did not
observe that they were riding into a defile between two parallel chains
of hills until a great Zulu army, that had been lying there concealed,
suddenly showed itself on each side and in front of them. Its horns were
even closing in behind before they realised that they were in an
ambuscade and in the utmost danger.[107]

[Sidenote: Death of Pieter Uys.]

There was no possibility now of carrying out the tactics they had
adopted against the Matabele: of firing a volley, riding back and
reloading their guns, and then charging again. There were no better
horsemen in the world than these farmers, for they had been accustomed
from early youth to ride and to hunt the game which then abounded in the
country they came from. But the din caused by the Zulus striking their
shields with their short spear shafts was so great that the horses
became almost unmanageable, and for an instant it seemed as if all was
lost. Then realising that there was one chance left, they directed all
their fire upon the horns of the Zulu army, that had closed in, shot
down hundreds, and dashed through the opening thus made.

Commandant Uys was wounded by a spear thrust, but as he fell from his
horse he called out to his followers to leave him and fight their way
out, for he must die. All except ten of them escaped by the road that
had been opened, but the pack horses, baggage, and spare ammunition had
to be left behind. Of the ten who died there, one was Commandant Pieter
Lavras Uys. Another was his gallant son Dirk Cornelis Uys, a boy only
fifteen years of age, who could have escaped, but seeing his father on
the ground and a Zulu raising a spear to stab him, he turned to assist
his parent, and fell by his side. The others who lost their lives were
David, Jacobus, and Jan Malan, Louis, Pieter, and Theunis Nel, Joseph
Kruger, and Frans Labuschagne. Potgieter’s division retreated in time,
on finding that it was being drawn into broken ground, and got safely
away. The expedition then, being unable to keep the field owing to the
loss of all the stores of the division under Uys, fell back to the camp
on the Bushman’s river, and Potgieter and his men shortly afterwards
returned to Winburg.

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

The aged father of Pieter Uys survived him only three months. He went
down into Natal with the other members of the party, and in July died
there. Mr. Maritz too, broken in health by anxiety and trouble, died on
the 23rd of September of the same year. Thus of the most prominent
leaders of the emigration, all had passed away in this short time except
Mr. Potgieter, who lived until 1853.



Alfonso, son of the Burgundian Count Henrique: assumes the title of king
of Portugal, 7; which in A.D. 1143 is confirmed by Pope Innocent II,
ib.; in 1147 he obtains possession of Santarem and Lisbon, and extends
the boundary of Portugal southward to the Tagus, ib.

Africa: is almost entirely unexplored by Europeans in the early years of
the fifteenth century, 4

Alani, the: in the fifth century of our era invade the Iberian
peninsula, but most of them are afterwards driven by the Visigoths into
Africa, 6

Alexandria: before A.D. 1500 is the chief market in which Europeans
obtain Indian products, 3

Alexandrian libraries: destruction of, 11

Algarves, emirate of the: in 1250 is conquered by the Christians, and in
1263 is annexed to Portugal, which thus acquires its present dimensions,

America: is entirely unknown to Europeans in the early years of the
fifteenth century, 4

Arabs, the: before A.D. 1500 know more than Europeans of the geography
of Africa, 11; in the eighth century of our era conquer the whole of the
Iberian peninsula except the territory held by the Basques, 6; their
rule at first is mild, ib.; in the eleventh century of our era the
caliphate is broken into fragments, ib.; when a struggle with the
Christian population commences which lasts for centuries, ib.; gradually
a number of little independent Christian states come into existence, 7;
among which in A.D. 1095 is a county that afterwards expands into the
kingdom of Portugal, ib.

Arnold’s _History of Rome_: reference to, 4

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Australia: in the fifteenth century is entirely unknown to Europeans, 4

d’Azambuja, Diogo: in January 1482 founds São Jorge da Mina, 25

de Barros, João: _Da Asia_, reference to, 14

Basques, the: occupy the Iberian peninsula, 4; are exterminated or
driven by the Celts into the Pyrenees, 5

Beazley’s _Prince Henry the Navigator, the Hero of Portugal and of
Modern Discovery_: reference to, 14

Belief of seamen at the beginning of the fifteenth century as to the
ocean beyond Cape Nun, 13

Bragança: creation of the first duke of by Affonso V, 9

Busk’s _History of Spain and Portugal_: reference to, 4

Cabral, Gonçalo Velho: in 1432 discovers the island Santa Maria in the
Azores, 15

Caliph of Cordova: is for a time the supreme authority in the Iberian
peninsula, 6

Caliph of Damascus: for a time is ruler of the Iberian peninsula, 6

Cam, Diogo: in 1484 reaches the mouth of the Congo, 16; in 1485 sets up
a marble pillar on Cape Cross in latitude 22° S., ib.

Cape Blanco: in 1441 is reached by Nuno Tristão, 15

Cape Bojador: in 1434 is passed by Gil Eannes, 15

Cape Correntes: before A.D. 1500 is the southern terminus of ordinary
navigation by the Persians and Arabs, owing to fear of danger beyond it,

Cape Nun: belief of seamen as to the ocean beyond, 13

Cape Verde: in 1444 or 1445 is discovered and named by Diniz Dias, 15

Carthaginians: occupy stations in the southern part of the Iberian
peninsula, 5; from which in B.C. 206 they are expelled by the Romans, 5

de Castanheda, Fernão Lopes: _Descobrimento e Conquista da India pelos
Portuguezes_, reference to, 17

Celts: occupation of the Iberian peninsula by, 5

Ceuta, opposite Gibraltar: in 1415 is taken by the Portuguese from the
Moors, 9

de Cinta, Pedro: in 1461 reaches Cape Palmas, 16

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

Commerce between Europe and India before A.D. 1500: mode of conducting,

Compass, the: use of in Western Europe in the early years of the
fifteenth century, 12

Convicts: use made of by the Portuguese, 18

Cross set up by Bartholomeu Dias at Angra Pequena: destruction of, 20

Dias, Bartholomeu: in August 1486 sails from the Tagus, 17; near the
equator leaves his storeship behind, 19; reaches Angra dos Ilheos, now
called Angra Pequena, where he sets up a marble pillar, ib.; touches
next at Angra das Voltas, 20; passes the Cape of Good Hope without
knowing it, 21; and reaches Angra dos Vaqueiros, probably the present
Mossel Bay, ib.; where he sees Hottentots with cattle, but cannot
communicate with them, as they flee inland in fear, ib.; sails eastward
and reaches an island in the bay now called Algoa, on which he erects a
cross, 22; visits the mainland and examines it eastward to a prominent
rock, which receives the name Penedo das Fontes on account of two
springs of water found there, ib.; here the seamen protest against going
farther, but he induces them to persevere a little longer, 23; reaches
the mouth of a river which he names the Infante, ib.; there the
expedition turns back, 24; when returning he discovers the Cape of Good
Hope, and erects a cross somewhere on the Cape peninsula, ib.; rejoins
his storeship, which he burns, ib.; touches next at Prince’s Island in
the bight of Biafra, 25; where he finds some Portuguese in distress, and
takes them on board his ship, ib.; visits São Jorge da Mina, where he
takes some gold on board, ib.; and in December 1487 reaches Lisbon
again, ib.

Discovery of an ocean route between Europe and India: effect of, 3

Eastern Asia: in the early years of the fifteenth century is very
imperfectly known to Europeans, 4

Edrisi: incorrect map of South Africa of, 4

Egypt: before A.D. 1517 is independent, but in that year is reduced to
be a Turkish province, 3

English crusaders: assist the Portuguese against the Moslems, 7

Fogaça, João: in 1487 is commander of São Jorge da Mina, 25

Genoese: visit Madeira and even the Canary islands before the
Portuguese, 15

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Geographical ignorance in Europe in the early years of the fifteenth
century, 4

Gibbon’s _Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire_: references to, 4 and 11

de Goes, Damião: _Chronica do Felicissimo Rei Dom Emanuel da Gloriosa
Memoria_, reference to, 17

Goths: see Visigoths

Greeks: are supposed to have formed trading stations on the coast of
Portugal, 5

Habrão, Rabbi: travels of, 26

Henrique, a Burgundian noble, in A.D. 1095 becomes first count of
Portugal, 7

Henrique, the Infante Dom, commonly known to Englishmen as Prince Henry
the Navigator: is third son of King João I and Philippa of Lancaster,
13; prosecutes maritime exploration as much as possible, ib.;
establishes himself at Sagres with this object, 14; in 1460 dies, 16

Indian commerce with Europe: route of before A.D. 1500, 3

Indians: in early times knew more than Europeans of the geography of
Africa, 11

_Indice Chronologico das Navegações, Viagens, Descobrimentos, e
Conquistas dos Portuguezes nos Paizes Ultramarinos desde o Principio do
Seculo XV_: references to, 14 and 26

Jayne, K. G.: _Vasco da Gama and his Successors_: reference to, 32

João I, grand master of the order of Saint Benedict of Avis: in A.D.
1385 is elected by the cortes king of Portugal, 9; is assisted against
Castile by John of Gaunt, whose daughter he marries, ib.; enters into a
treaty of close friendship with England, ib.

João II: breaks the power of the feudal nobles of Portugal, and becomes
an absolute monarch, 10

Josepe, a Portuguese Jew: travels of, 26

Kings of Portugal before A.D. 1500, succession of: Affonso I, Sancho I,
Affonso II, Sancho II, Affonso III, Diniz, Affonso IV, Pedro, Fernando,
with whom the Burgundian dynasty came to an end; João I, of the dynasty
of Avis, Duarte, Affonso V, João II, Emanuel.

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

Legends of vessels having been carried by storms and currents from the
Indian to the Atlantic ocean, 12

de Lima, Dom Rodrigo: in 1515 proceeds to Abyssinia as ambassador of the
king of Portugal, 27

Lisbon: is supposed by some historians to have been founded by a
Hellenic colony, 5

Madeira: in 1420 is visited by Portuguese explorers, 14; in 1425 a
commencement in colonising the island is made, 15

Major’s _Discoveries of Prince Henry the Navigator and their Results_:
reference to, 14

Maps of South Africa by Ptolemy and Edrisi: incorrectness of, 4

Mozambique current: at Cape Correntes runs southward with great
velocity, 11

_Narrative of Voyages to explore the Shores of Africa, Arabia and
Madagascar, performed in H.M. Ships Leven and Barracouta under the
direction of Captain W. F. W. Owen, R.N._: reference to, 20

Negro slaves: in 1443 the first are brought to Portugal by Nuno Tristão,

Ocean route between Europe and India: effect of the discovery of, 3

Ourique: battle of, 7

de Paiva, Affonso: in May 1487 leaves Santarem to search for Prester
John, 26; proceeds to Naples, Rhodes, Alexandria, Cairo, Tor, Suakin,
and Aden, and then to Abyssinia, ib.; dies in the East, ib.

Palæolithic men in Portugal: relics of, 4

Pereira, Duarte Pacheco: is found by Bartholomeu Dias in distress at
Prince’s Island, and is taken by him to Lisbon, 25; is author of a
volume termed _Esmeraldo de Situ Orbis_, 31 and 32

Perestrello, Bartholomeu: voyages of, 14

_Periplus of the Erythrean Sea_: reference to, 11

Persians: before A.D. 1500 know more than Europeans of the geography of
Africa, 11

Phœnicians: occupy stations in the southern part of the Iberian
peninsula, 5

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Pires, João, of Covilhão: in May 1487 leaves Santarem to search for
Prester John, 26; proceeds to Naples, Rhodes, Alexandria, Cairo, Tor,
Suakin, and Aden, then crosses the Indian ocean to Cananor, Calicut, and
Goa, passes over to Sofala, and back to Aden and Cairo, ib.; where he
receives further orders from Portugal, and proceeds to Aden and Ormuz,
thence back by way of Aden to Abyssinia, where he is detained till his
death, 27

Po, Fernando: in 1471 crosses the equator, 16

Porto Santo: discovery of, 14

Portugal: outline of the early history of, 4; primitive inhabitants of,
ib.; is occupied by the Basques, ib.; who are followed by the Celts, 5;
the country is conquered by the Romans, ib.; and becomes Romanised in
civilisation, religion, and language, ib.; in the fifth century of our
era is overrun by the Visigoths, who establish themselves as an
aristocracy in the country, 6; in the eighth century the Arabs conquer
the whole peninsula except the territory occupied by the Basques, ib.;
in A.D. 1095 the northern portion of Portugal becomes independent of the
Arabs, 7; and in 1143 is acknowledged by Pope Innocent II as an
independent kingdom, ib.; it is called Portugal from o Porto, the port
at the mouth of the Douro, ib.; it is gradually enlarged until 1263,
when it attains its present dimensions, 8; it is favourably situated for
prosecuting discovery by sea, 4; but in the early years of the fifteenth
century it has not much shipping, ib.

Prester John, a mythical potentate: reference to, 18

Ptolemy: incorrect map of South Africa of, 4 and 24

Ravenstein, E. G.: paper in the _Geographical Journal_ by, entitled _The
Voyages of Diogo Cão and Bartholomeu Dias_, 1482-88, 28 _et seq._

Romans: establish their authority in the Iberian peninsula, 5

São Jorge da Mina: is established in January 1482, and is the first
permanent settlement of the Portuguese on the western coast of Africa.
It is now called Elmina, and is a British possession, 25

Ships of the fifteenth century: description of, 12

Slave trade: is ruinous to Portugal, 16

Stephens’ _History of Portugal_: reference to, 4

Stone implements: are found in Portugal of very crude workmanship, 4

Suevi, the: in the fifth century of our era invade the Iberian
peninsula, where their descendants still remain, 6

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

Tangier: in 1437 the Portuguese are repulsed in an attack upon, 9

Toro: battle of, 10

Vandals: in the fifth century of our era invade the Iberian peninsula,
but are afterwards driven by the Visigoths into Africa, 6

Vas, Tristão: voyage of, 14

Venetians: before A.D. 1500 are the distributors of Indian products over
Europe, 3

Vidal, Captain: reference to, 20

Visigoths, the: in the fifth century of our era occupy the Iberian
peninsula, where their descendants still remain, 6

_Voyage of Nearchus_: reference to, 11

Zarco, João Gonçalves: voyage of, 14


Adolf of Nassau, brother of William prince of Orange: death of in
battle, 58

Agoada de São Bras of the Portuguese: is now called Mossel Bay, 122

Albert, Cardinal Archduke: in January 1596 becomes governor-general of
the submissive Netherlands, 110; administration of, ib. et seq.; in 1621
dies, 152

Alkmaar: unsuccessful siege of by the Spaniards, 68

Alva, duke of: in 1567 is sent by Philippe II to the Netherlands with a
strong Spanish army, 56; murderous administration of, 56 to 70; in
December 1573 leaves the Netherlands, 70

Amsterdam, city of: on the 8th of February 1578 is gained by the
patriots, 87; in later years has a preponderating influence in the
government of the East India Company, 133

Ango, Jean: in 1527 sends three ships from Dieppe to India, 36; but they
are all lost, ib.; in 1529 assists in sending two others to India, 37;
but this venture is also unfortunate, ib.

Anjou, duke of: in 1581 is elected their sovereign by twelve of the
Netherland provinces, 93; on the 17th of February 1582 is inaugurated at
Antwerp, 94; acts in a perfidious and violent manner, 95; is obliged to
flee from Antwerp, ib.; returns to Paris, and in June 1584 dies, 96

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Antwerp: description of the city, 80; in November 1576 it is pillaged by
Spanish troops, ib.; it is besieged by the duke of Parma, and on the
17th of August 1585 is obliged to capitulate, 100

Antwerp cathedral: in August 1566 is greatly injured by a party of
fanatics, 55

Antwerp citadel: is constructed by the duke of Alva to overawe the
townspeople, 57

Artois, count of: before 1544 admits the precedence in rank of the kings
of France, 44

Artois, province of: in 1544 comes under the government of the emperor
Charles V, 48; after taking part in the resistance to Spanish tyranny,
on the 17th of May 1579, with Hainaut and Lille, is reconciled to
Philippe II, and for ever lost to the patriot cause, 88

d’Ataide, Dom Estevão: in 1607 successfully defends Fort São Sebastião
at Mozambique against the Dutch under Paulus van Caerden, 139; and also
in 1608 against a stronger Dutch force under Pieter Willemszoon
Verhoeff, 146

_Atlas of Mercator and Hondius_: reference to, 50

_Atlas_ of Ortelius: reference to, 50

d’Avila, Don Juan Alvarez, Spanish admiral: on the 25th of April 1607 is
killed in the great battle in Gibraltar Bay, 151

Azores, the: in 1466 are presented by Affonso V of Portugal to his aunt
the duchess of Burgundy, 46; they are thereafter termed the Flemish
islands until 1640, when they revert to Portugal, ib.

Baffin, William, the famous Arctic navigator: in 1620 visits Table
Valley, 159

Bali: is visited by the first Dutch expedition to India, 123

Bantam: is visited by the first Dutch expedition to India, 123

Barendszoon, Willem: in 1594 explores the polar seas in search of a
passage to China, but finds the way blocked by ice, 116; in 1595 makes
another attempt, but again without success, 117; in 1596 tries again,
passes the winter in Nova Zembla, and dies when attempting to return
home, 117 and 118

Batavi, the, a Nether Teuton tribe: about a century before the Christian
era take possession of the territory between the extreme forks of the
Rhine, 42

Beggars: in 1566 the title is adopted by the patriot party in the
Netherlands, 55

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

_Begin ende Voortgangh van de Vereenighde Nederlantsche Geoctroyeerde
Oost Indische Compagnie_: references to, 117 and 122

Belgium: in 1624, after the death of the archduchess Isabella, passes
again under the direct rule of Spain, 152; successive diminutions of
territory since that date, ib.; on the 7th of September 1714 it is ceded
to the emperor Charles VI, ib.

Bergen-op-Zoom: is besieged by Alexander Farnese, but in November 1588
the siege is raised, 108

Biesbosch, the: in 1421 is formed, 43

Bilderdyk’s _Geschiedenis des Vaderlands_: reference to, 41

Bishops: are greatly increased in number in the Netherlands by Philippe
II of Spain, in order to extend the inquisition, 52

Blok’s _History of the People of the Netherlands_: references to, 41,
50, 52, and 71

Boisot, Louis, admiral of Zeeland: in January 1574 destroys a Spanish
flotilla in the Schelde, 72; and part of another Spanish flotilla at
Antwerp, 74; commands the flotilla that relieves Leyden, 75 and 76; in
June 1575 loses his life in attempting to relieve Zierikzee, 78

_Bom Jesus_, Portuguese galleon: in August 1608 is captured by the Dutch
near Mozambique, 147

Bossu, count of, admiral of a Spanish fleet: in October 1573 is defeated
by the Sea Beggars in a desperate battle in the Zuyder Zee, 69

Both, Pieter: in 1599 commands an expedition sent to India, 125; in
November 1609 is appointed first governor-general of Netherlands India,
149; and in December 1610 assumes the duty at Bantam, 150

Boulger’s _History of Belgium_: reference to, 42

Breda, town of: on the 4th of March 1590 is gained by the patriots, 108

Brill, town of: in 1572 is seized by the Sea Beggars under William de la
Marck, 62; when revolting cruelties are perpetrated upon their
opponents, 63; the town is thereafter held by the patriots, ib.; from
1585 to 1616 it is occupied by English troops as security for the
payment of money lent to the patriots by Queen Elizabeth, 101 and 115

Bruges: before A.D. 1500 is the emporium of the Italian merchants for
Indian products, 45; in May 1584 it is betrayed to the Spaniards, 96

Brussels: on the 13th of March 1585 capitulates to the Spaniards, 100

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Cabires: the horde of Bantu so called by the Portuguese invade the
territory of the monomotapa and lay it waste, 136; the Portuguese go to
the assistance of the Kalanga chief, but are defeated and obliged to
retire, ib.

van Caerden, Paulus: in 1601 gives Mossel Bay its present name, 126; in
March 1607 with a strong force attacks Mozambique, 139; but in May is
obliged to give up the attempt to get possession of it, 143

Cæsar: conquers the Celtic portion of the Netherlands and also compels
the Frisians to pay tribute, but admits the Batavi to an alliance with
Rome, 43

Calais: is taken by the French from the English in the reign of Queen
Mary, 51

Candish, Thomas: in 1586-1588 sails round the world, 40

Charlemagne: in the eighth century of our era becomes sovereign of the
Netherlands, 44

Charles V, Emperor: from his Burgundian ancestors inherits the
sovereignty of all the Netherlands except Gelderland, Utrecht, the
Frisian provinces, Liege, Artois, and Flanders, 48; in 1524 he adds
Friesland to his dominions, in 1528 Overyssel and Utrecht, in 1536
Groningen and Drenthe, in 1543 Gelderland, and in 1544 Flanders and
Artois, ib.; so that in and after 1544 the whole country, with the
exception of the bishopric of Liege, is united under one monarch with
Spain, 49; character of his government, ib.; in October 1555 he
abdicates, and his son Philippe II of Spain becomes sovereign of all the
Netherland provinces except Liege, 51

Churches in the Southern Netherlands: violation of, 55

Coligny, Admiral: murder of, 65

Commencement of the struggle of the Netherlands against Spain, 58

Convicts sent from England to South Africa: account of, 165

_Corbin_, the: in 1601 sails from St. Malo to India, but in July 1602 is
lost at the Maldives, 37

Cory, a Hottentot taken to England and made much of there: account of,
163 and 164

Council of Blood: is established at Brussels by the duke of Alva, 57

de Couto’s _Da Asia_: references to, 122 and 128

_Croissant_, the: in 1601 sails from St. Malo to India, but is lost on
her homeward passage, 37

Crusades, the: have a beneficial effect upon the Netherlands, 45

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

Danish ships: in 1619 first visit Table Bay, 168

Dassen (Conies) Island: in 1605 receives its name, 156

Davis, John: in 1598 sails to India in the Dutch service, 123; in 1601
visits Table Bay on his second voyage to India, 155; and again in 1605
on his third outward passage, ib.; in December of this year he is killed
by Japanese pirates, ib.

Dendermonde: on the 17th of August 1584 is reconciled to Philippe II,
and is thereafter lost to the patriot cause, 98

Deventer: on the 29th of January 1587 is betrayed by Sir William Stanley
to Spain, 104; on the 10th of June 1591 is recovered by the patriots,

Dias, Estevão: career of, 36 and 37

Dirkszoon, Cornelis: in October 1573 gains a great victory in a naval
battle with a Spanish fleet, 69

Disastrous encounters with Hottentots in Table Valley, 163

Dollart, the: in 1277 is formed, 43

Don John of Austria: in 1576 is appointed by Philippe II
governor-general of the Netherlands, 82; on the 3rd of May 1577 takes
the oaths of office at Brussels, 84; administration of, 84 to 88; on the
1st of October 1578 dies, 88

Drake, Sir Francis: in 1577-1580 makes his celebrated voyage round the
world, 38 and 39; in April 1587 destroys a great Spanish fleet in the
harbour of Cadiz and another in the Tagus, 106

Drenthe: particulars concerning the province of, 90

Dutch East India Company: causes of the formation of, 130; in March 1602
comes into existence, ib.; conditions of the charter granted by the
states-general, ib.; capital of the Company, 132; its advantage to the
State, 132; later modifications of the charter, 133

Dutch ships in Spanish ports: in 1598 are seized and confiscated, 116

Egmont, count of: wins the great battles of St. Quentin and Gravelines
for Philippe II, 51; execution of, 59

English convicts sent to South Africa: account of, 165

English ships: in 1591 for the first time visit Table Bay, 40

Ernest, archduke: in January 1594 becomes governor-general of the
submissive Netherlands, 109; on the 20th of February 1595 dies, 110

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Farnese, Alexander, prince of Parma: on the 31st of January 1578
annihilates the patriot army at Gemblours, 86; in October 1578 becomes
governor-general of the Netherlands, 88; administration of, 88 to 109;
in 1590 goes to France with a strong army to assist the duke of Mayenne
against Henry of Navarre, 108; but after breaking the blockade of Paris
returns to the Netherlands, ib.; on the 3rd of December 1592 dies, 109

Fitch, Ralph: travels of, 39 and 40

Fitzherbert and Shillinge, two English commodores: in 1620 in Table
Valley proclaim the sovereignty of James I of England over Africa to the
dominions of another Christian prince, 159 and 160; but this is not
confirmed in England, 160

Flanders, count of: before 1544 admits the precedence in rank of the
kings of France, 44; in that year the province becomes subject to the
emperor Charles V, 48

Flushing: is the second town in the Netherlands to be seized and
permanently held by the patriots, 63; which event is followed by other
important successes, 64; from 1585 to 1616 it is occupied by English
troops as security for the payment of debt to England, 101 and 115

French, the: are the first to follow the Portuguese by sea to India, 36

French East India Company: in 1604 is established on paper, but gets no
further, 37; in 1615 it is reorganised, and in 1617 sends an expedition
to India, which is successful, ib.

French ships: towards the middle of the seventeenth century occasionally
visit the islands in and near Saldanha Bay to procure sealskins and oil,

Frisians, the: in A.D. 750 accept Christianity, 44

Gemblours: battle of, 86

_General Collection of Treatys, Manifesto’s, Contracts of Marriage,
Renunciations, and other Publick Papers, from the year 1495 to the year
1712_: references to, 101, 102, 106, 111, 113, 115, 153, and 161

Ghent: atrocious conduct of the fanatical party in the city, 88; on the
17th of September 1584 it is reconciled to Philippe II, and is
thereafter lost to the patriot cause, 98

Giedde, Ove, Danish admiral: in 1619 and again in 1621 visits Table Bay,

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

Granvelle, Cardinal: is agent of Philippe II in the Netherlands, 52; is
detested by the people, 53; in 1564 leaves the Netherlands, ib.

Grave: in September 1602 is gained by the patriots, 114

Groen van Prinsterer’s _Handboek der Geschiedenis van het Vaderland_:
reference to, 42

Groningen, town of: in March 1580 is betrayed to the Spaniards, 92; on
the 22nd of July 1594 is recovered by the patriots, 110

Haarlem, siege of, 67; on the 12th of July 1573 the city is taken by the
Spaniards, ib.

van der Hagen, Steven: in 1599 commands an expedition sent to India,
125; in December 1603 leaves Holland for India as admiral of a powerful
fleet, 136; in June 1604 attacks Mozambique, ib.; but in August is
obliged to retire without success, 137; in February 1605 gets possession
of the Portuguese fort on Amboina, ib.

Hainaut, Artois, and Lille, provinces of: on the 17th of May 1579 are
reconciled to Philippe II, and for ever lost to the patriot cause, 88

van Heemskerk, Jacob: in 1595 accompanies Willem Barendszoom on his
second polar expedition, 117; and again in 1596 on his third and last,
ib.; in 1598 goes to India in the fleet under Jacob van Nek, 124; in
April 1601 leaves Holland on his second voyage to India as admiral of a
fleet of eight ships, 129; captures a very richly laden carrack, ib.; on
the 25th of April 1607 with a greatly inferior force attacks a powerful
Spanish fleet in Gibraltar Bay, and utterly destroys it, 151; but is
killed in the engagement, ib.

Hendrik of Nassau, brother of William prince of Orange: death of in
battle, 74

Hermanszoon, Wolfert: in 1601 commands a fleet sent to India, 128;
attacks a large Portuguese fleet under André Furtado de Mendoça
besieging Bantam, ib.; and compels Mendoça to retire, 129; enters into a
commercial treaty with the ruler of Bantam, ib.; and with the ruler of
Banda, ib.

Holland and Zeeland, provinces of: in June 1575 unite in a kind of loose
confederation, 77; in October 1575 renounce allegiance to Philippe II,

Hoorn, Count: execution of, 59

Hottentots: dealings with by the first English visitors to South Africa,
40; are seen and described by the first Dutch voyagers to India, 122;
disgusting food of, 157

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Houtman, Cornelis: in 1595 is in command of the first Dutch expedition
to India, 121; in 1598 commands another expedition to India, 123; and is
murdered at Atchin, 124

Hunebedden: description of, 42

Indian trade: number of Dutch ships engaged in before 1602, 129

Inquisition in the Netherlands: particulars concerning, 49, 53, and 54

Inundation: in 1570 causes terrible loss of life and property in the
Northern Netherlands, 60

Invincible Spanish Armada: in 1588 is destroyed, 107

Isabella, Archduchess, daughter of Philippe II: in May 1598 becomes
sovereign of the submissive Netherlands, and in April 1599 marries the
archduke Albert, 113; on the 30th of November 1623 dies, 152

James I, king of England: for a short time after his accession favours
the Dutch, but in 1604 he enters into a treaty of peace and alliance
with Spain, 115

de Jonge’s _De Opkomst van het Nederlandsch Gezag in Oost Indie_:
reference to, 122

Jourdain, John: gives an account of his visits to Table Valley in 1608
and 1617, 156, 157, and 164

Lancaster, Captain James: in 1591 visits Table Bay, 41; as admiral of
the first fleet fitted out by the English East India Company in
September 1601 again calls at Table Bay, 155

Leades, William: travels of, 39

_Leeven en Daden der Doorlughtige Zee-Helden_: reference to, 78

Leicester, earl of: is appointed by Queen Elizabeth lieutenant-general
of the English forces in the Netherlands, and on the 19th of December
1585 arrives and assumes duty, 102; conduct of, 102 to 106; in December
1587 leaves the Netherlands, 106

Lepanto: battle of, 82

Leyden: first siege of, 73; second siege and heroic defence of from the
26th of May to the 3rd of October 1574, when the city is relieved by
Admiral Boisot, 74, 75, and 76

Liege, province of: particulars concerning, 51, 52, and 154

Lille, with Douai and Orchies, Artois, and Hainaut, provinces of: on the
17th of May 1579 are reconciled to Philippe II, and for ever lost to the
patriot cause, 88

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

van Linschoten, Jan Huyghen: in 1583 goes to India in the service of the
archbishop of Goa, 118; and remains there until January 1589, 119; after
his return to Holland publishes sailing directions, a description of the
Indies, &c., which serve as guides for his countrymen, ib.; in 1594
accompanies Willem Barendszoon in his first polar voyage, 117

Louis of Nassau, brother of William prince of Orange: death of in
battle, 74

Maastricht: siege and destruction of by Alexander Farnese, 91

Madura: is visited by the first Dutch expedition to India, 123

le Maire, Isaac: in May 1611 visits Table Bay, 154

Mandeville, Sir John: note on, 38

Manufactures: are driven from the Netherlands by persecution, 54

de la Marck, William: exploits of, 62

Margaret of Parma: in 1559 becomes regent of the Netherlands, 52;
administration of, 52 to 58

Massacre of Saint Bartholomew in August 1572: has disastrous effects on
the patriot cause in the Netherlands, 65

Matelief, Cornelis: in May 1605 leaves Holland for India as admiral of a
fleet, 138; attempts to get possession of Malacca, but without success,
ib.; builds Fort Orange on the island of Ternate, and places a garrison
in it, ib.; in April 1608 calls at Table Bay on his homeward passage,
and remains there till June, 139

Matthias of Hapsburg: in January 1578 becomes nominally governor-general
of the Netherlands provinces on the invitation of a party of nobles, but
has no real power, 86; in 1581 returns to Germany, 93

Maurits of Nassau, second son of William prince of Orange: in 1584
commences his career, 98

Mechlin: a court of appeal for all the provinces is established here by
the duke of Burgundy, 46; ferocious treatment of the city by the duke of
Alva, 65; on the 19th of July 1585 it capitulates to the Spaniards, 100

de Mendoça, André Furtado: in 1601 is in command of a large Portuguese
fleet besieging Bantam, 128; when he is attacked by a puny Dutch fleet
under Wolfert Hermanszoon, ib.; which forces him to raise the blockade,
129; he causes great destruction at Amboina, ib.; successfully defends
Malacca against Cornelis Matelief, 138

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Michelburne, Sir Edward: in 1605 visits Table Bay, 155

Middelburg: in February 1574 after a long siege is surrendered to the
patriots by Colonel Christopher Mondragon, 73

Mondragon, a French corsair: in 1507 seizes a Portuguese ship in the
Mozambique channel, 36; in 1509 he is captured by the Portuguese and is
taken as a prisoner to Lisbon, ib.; where he manages to make his peace
with the king, ib.

Montigny, Baron; murder of, 60

Mookerheyde: disastrous battle of in April 1574, 74

Mossel Bay: is touched at by the first Dutch expedition to India, 122;
in 1601 receives its present name from Paulus van Caerden, 126

Motley’s _Rise of the Dutch Republic_, and _History of the United
Netherlands to the Twelve Years’ Truce, 1609_: references to, 41 and 78

Mozambique: description of in 1583, 120; is coveted by the Dutch, owing
to rumours of the great quantity of gold to be had on the mainland, 135;
in June 1604 is attacked by Steven van der Hagen, 136; but in August he
is obliged to leave without success, 137; in March 1607 is attacked by
Paulus van Caerden, 139; Fort São Sebastião is bravely defended by Dom
Estevão d’Ataide, 141; and in May Van Caerden is obliged to abandon the
effort to take it, 143; in July 1608 it is attacked for the third time
by the Dutch under Pieter Willemszoon Verhoeff, 144; but in August the
siege is abandoned, 147

Municipal Charters: in A.D. 1217 the first of these in the Northern
Netherlands is obtained by the town of Middelburg in Zeeland, 45

Mutinies of Spanish troops: account of, 79 to 81, and 111

Naarden: in 1572 is destroyed by the Spaniards, 66

Negotiations for the alliance of the Dutch and English East India
Companies: particulars concerning, 161 and 162

van Nek, Jacob: successful voyage to India of, 124

Netherlands: the territory of the Northern Provinces is the last
occupied on the continent of Europe, 42; no traces of palæolithic men
are found there, ib.; the Celts are the earliest known inhabitants, ib.;
the Batavi, a Nether Teuton tribe, come next, ib.; the Frisians occupy
the territory farther north, 43; palæolithic implements in great
abundance are found in the southern provinces, 42; which in the earliest
historical times are occupied by Celts, 43; at the time of the Roman
invasion the extreme north is occupied by Teutons, the extreme south by
Celts, and the centre by the two races intermingled, ib.; the country
is conquered by Cæsar and the Frisians are compelled to pay tribute, but
the Batavi are admitted to an alliance with Rome, ib.; some centuries
later on the fall of the Roman empire, other Teutonic tribes enter the
country, 44; when the Franks conquer the Romanised Celtic territory in
the south, ib.; in A.D. 785 the conquest of the whole country is
completed by Charlemagne, ib.; under his feeble successors it is broken
up into a number of petty states independent of each other, ib.; which
in course of time become prosperous through manufactures, commerce, and
the fisheries, 45; the towns are able to obtain, mostly by purchase from
their sovereigns, charters conferring extensive powers of self
government, ib.; in 1437 through various causes many of the provinces or
separate states come under the dominion of Philippe duke of Burgundy,
46; in 1477 the “Great Privilege” is granted by Mary of Burgundy, 47;
who marries Maximilian of Hapsburg, and leaves a son, Philippe by name,
as sovereign of the Burgundian Netherlands, 48; this Philippe marries
the eldest daughter of the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand of Aragon and
Isabella of Castile, and in 1500 has a son born to him, who becomes the
emperor Charles V, ib.; Charles inherits the sovereignty of all the
Netherland provinces except Gelderland, Utrecht, the Frisian provinces,
Liege, Flanders, and Artois, ib.; by 1544 all of the provinces except
Liege are under his rule, 49; enumeration of the provinces, 50; in 1555
on the abdication of Charles V all of the provinces except Liege come
under the sovereignty of his son Philippe II of Spain, 51; under whose
rule they are treated with such cruelty that they rise in rebellion
against him, 51 et seq.

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

Newbery, John: travels of, 39

Nieuwpoort: battle of, 113

van Noort, Olivier: in 1598-1601 is the first Netherlander to sail round
the world, 124 and 125

Nymegen: on the 21st of October 1591 surrenders to the patriots, 109

Ostend: on the 5th of July 1601 is besieged by the archduke Albert, but
holds out till the 20th of September 1604, when it is taken by the
marquis Ambrose Spinola, 114

Oudewater: in July 1575 is destroyed by the Spaniards, 77

Pacification of Ghent: particulars regarding the, 81

Parmentier, Jean: in 1529 commands a French ship sent to India, 37

Parmentier, Raoul: in 1529 commands a French ship sent to India, 37

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Pereira, Duarte Pacheco: in 1509 captures the French corsair Mondragon,

Perpetual Edict: particulars concerning the, 83

Philippe II of Spain: in 1555 becomes sovereign of all the Netherland
provinces except Liege, 51; his rule is so atrocious that the provinces
rise in rebellion, and in October 1575 the states of Holland and Zeeland
renounce allegiance to him, 79; on the 26th of July 1581 he is formally
abjured by the other provinces in arms against him, 93; on the 6th of
May 1598 he transfers the sovereignty of the Netherlands to his daughter
Isabella, 112; and on the 13th of September of the same year dies, ib.

Philippe III: in September 1598 succeeds his father as king of Spain,

Pirenne’s _Histoire de Belgique_: reference to, 42

Portugal: in 1580 comes under the authority of Philippe II of Spain, 92

Portuguese: before the close of the sixteenth century cease to be
progressive, 35

Position of the Dutch in India at the time of the conclusion of the
truce with Spain, 149

Protestants: emigration of from the Southern to the Northern Netherland
provinces, 98 and 101

Queen Elizabeth of England: in January 1578 commences to assist the
patriots in the Netherlands, 85; in August 1585 enters into a treaty
with the states, giving them material assistance, 101; on the 24th of
March 1603 dies, 115

Rapid advance of the Dutch in India in 1609, 148

Reformation, the: spread of in the Netherlands, 49 and 54

Repudiation of the public debt by Philippe II, 110

de Requesens, Don Luis: in November 1573 becomes governor and
captain-general of the Netherlands, 70; administration of, 70 to 79; on
the 5th of March 1576 dies, 79

Roe, Sir Thomas: in 1615 visits Table Valley, 166

Romans, the: confer great benefits upon the Netherlands, 44

Scandinavian pirates: plunder the Netherlands, but do not form
settlements in the country, 45

Sluis: is besieged, and in August 1587 is compelled to surrender to the
Spaniards, 105; in August 1604 is recovered by the patriots, 115

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

Sonoy, Diederik: atrocious conduct of at Alkmaar, 77

Spanish Fury of Antwerp: account of, 80 and 81

Spanish troops: mutinies of, 74 and 113

van Spilbergen, Joris: in 1601 commands an expedition sent to India, 127

Spinola, the marquis Ambrose: in 1603 becomes commander-in-chief of the
Spanish army in Flanders, 114

Stephens, Thomas, an Englishman: in 1579 is rector of the Jesuit college
at Salsette, 38

Story, James: travels of, 39

Sumatra: is visited by the first Dutch expedition to India, 123

Synod of the Reformed churches: in 1572 the first meets at Hoorn; in
1578 the second meets at Dordrecht, 87

Table Bay: in 1601 receives its present name from Joris van Spilbergen,

Terry’s _Voyage to India_: references to, 163 and 166

Teutonic tribes: overrun the Netherlands, 44

Treaty of alliance between England, France, and the seven United
Provinces of the Netherlands: on the 31st of October 1596 is entered
into, 111; from which in May 1598 Henry IV of France withdraws, 112; on
the 16th of August 1598 a new treaty of alliance is entered into between
England and the free Netherlands, 112

Truce for twelve years between Spain and the Netherlands: on the 9th of
April 1609 is signed at Antwerp, 151

Turnhout: rout of a Spanish army at, 111

Union of Brussels: particulars concerning the, 82

Union of Utrecht: particulars concerning the, 89 and 90

United Netherlands, republic of the: territory of in 1609, at the time
of the twelve years’ truce, 151 and 152

Utrecht, bishopric of: is founded by Charlemagne as a fief, 44; in 1579
ceases to exist, 89

Valenciennes: in 1567 is reduced to submission to Philippe II, 56

Valentijn’s _Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien_: reference to, 122

Variation of the compass: mention of, 123 and 124

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Verhoeff, Pieter Willemszoon: in December 1607 sails from Holland for
India as admiral of a very powerful fleet, 144; and in July 1608 makes
an attack upon Mozambique, ib.; but in August is compelled to abandon
the effort to get possession of Fort São Sebastião, 147; barbarity of
after the great victory in Gibraltar Bay, 151; in May 1609 he and
twenty-nine others are murdered on the island of Neira, 148

van Waerwyk, Wybrand: in June 1602 leaves Holland for India as admiral
of a fleet, 134; in August 1603 establishes a permanent factory at
Bantam, 135; which for several years is regarded as the Dutch head
quarters in the East, ib.

de Weert, Sebald: in March 1602 is admiral of the first fleet sent out
by the Dutch East India Company, 134; visits Ceylon and makes an
agreement of friendship with the ruler of Kandy, ib.; but commits the
great error of offending the religious feelings of the Cingalese, ib.;
with the result that he and forty-six others are surprised when on shore
and are all put to death, 135

William, prince of Orange: is appointed by Philippe II stadholder of
Holland, Zeeland, and Utrecht, 52; becomes the very soul of the struggle
of the provinces for liberty, 52 to 97; on the 15th of March 1580 is
declared an outlaw by Philippe II, and a great reward is offered to any
one who takes his life, 92; on the 10th of July 1584 is murdered at
Delft, 97

Zeeland and Holland, provinces of: in June 1575 unite in a kind of loose
confederation, 77; in October 1575 renounce allegiance to Philippe II,

Zierikzee: in June 1576 is besieged and taken by the Spaniards, 78

Zutphen: treatment of by Don Frederic de Toledo, son of the duke of
Alva, 66; in September 1583 it is betrayed to the Spaniards, 96; on the
23rd of May 1591 it is recovered by the patriots, 109

Zuyder Zee: is formed in the thirteenth century of our era, 43


van der Aa’s _Biographisch Woordenboek der Nederlanden_: references to,
173 and 250

Appel, Ferdinandus: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 226; further mention of, 246

Arboriculture: instructions of the directors concerning, 188; which are
carried out by the governor, ib.

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

van Assenburgh, Louis: is appointed to succeed Willem Adriaan van der
Stel as governor, 241; in January 1708 arrives and assumes the duty, 246

Bek, Rev. Hendrik: in May 1702 becomes clergyman of Drakenstein, 198; in
April 1707 is transferred to Stellenbosch, 200

Bogaert, Abraham: takes charge of the document containing the complaints
of the burghers, 228

Bogaert’s _Historisch Verhaal_: reference to, 211

le Boucq, Rev. Engelbertus: account of, 199

van Brakel, Jacobus: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 230, 232, and 242

Bushmen: particulars concerning, 188, 194 et seq.

van der Byl, Pieter: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 226; further mention of, 246

Charges against Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel: list of, 221

Church building: in January 1704 the first in Capetown is opened for
use, 198

Cloete, Jacob: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel, 229

Colonists: at the beginning of the eighteenth century are rapidly
increasing in number, 204

Company’s garden in Capetown: particulars concerning, 190

Condition of the Cape settlement when Willem Adriaan van der Stel
becomes governor, 181

Constantia farm: on the 13th of July 1685 is granted to Commander Simon
van der Stel by the lord of Mydrecht, 179

Conterman, Hans Jacob: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 227

Corruption: at the beginning of the eighteenth century is generally
prevalent in the East India Company’s service, 205; means adopted to
prevent it, 206

Council of Policy: during the administration of Governor Willem Adriaan
van der Stel meetings are only held at long intervals, 215

Drakenstein: is settled under Simon van der Stel’s supervision, 177

Du Bois’s _Vies des Gouverneurs Generaux_: reference to, 173

Dutch and German settlers: are sent to South Africa from 1700 to 1707,
when emigration is stopped, 185

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Ecclesiastical matters: particulars concerning, 197 et seq.

Effect of Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel’s tyranny in blending the
Dutch and French sections of the community, 249

Elberts, Jan: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel, 230

Elberts, Nicolaas: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel,

Elsevier, Samuel, the secunde: is in illegal possession of a tract of
land near Klapmuts, 216; is charged by the burghers with carrying on
farming and neglecting his duty, 222; is dismissed from office by the
directors, and in April 1708 leaves the colony, 247

Expedition to Natal in 1705: account of, 202

Extent of the Cape settlement when Simon van der Stel becomes commander,

Fouché, Professor Leo: copies and publishes portions of the journal of
Adam Tas, 183

French Hoek: is settled under Simon van der Stel’s supervision, 177

French language in South Africa: particulars concerning, 198

Goodwin, Vaughan, an Englishman: in 1705 is found living at Port Natal,

Grazing farms: occupation of, 193

Grevenbroek, Jan Willem: mention of, 218

van der Heiden, Jacobus: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 226

van der Heiden and Tas’s _Contra Deductie_: references to, 210, 218,
219, and 248

Hertog, Jan, the Company’s master gardener: is in charge of Vergelegen,

Hottentots: particulars concerning, 195 and 221; trade with by colonists
is prohibited from 1658 to 1699, 191; is then thrown open by the
directors, 192; but in 1703 is again forbidden, 196

Huguenot settlers: are sent out in small numbers until 1700, when the
directors resolve not to send any more, 184

Huguenots: are in a difficult position in the countries that shelter
them, 184

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

Huising, Henning: in 1700 enters into the first contract to supply meat
to the East India Company, 192; treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan
van der Stel, 226; is well treated by the directors, 246; further
mention of, 247

Inducements to migrate to South Africa at the beginning of the
eighteenth century, 185

Islands of Dina and Marseveen: search for, 188

Kalden, Rev. Petrus, clergyman of Capetown: is in possession of a farm,
216; is charged by the burghers with spending too much time on it and
neglecting his duty, 222; is recalled by the directors, and in April
1708 leaves the colony, 247

Kolbe’s _Caput Bonæ Spei_: reference to, 173

van Loon, Rev. Hercules: in April 1700 becomes clergyman of
Stellenbosch, 197; in June 1704 commits suicide, 199

Louw, Jacob: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel, 229
and 242

Marauding band of Europeans and Hottentots: account of, 200

Mauritius, island of: is uninhabited when the Dutch East India Company
sends a small party of men to take possession of it, 171

van Meerland, Jan: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel,

_Meresteyn_, the: in April 1702 is wrecked on Jutten Island, when many
lives are lost, 200

Meyboom, Nicolaas: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel,

Meyer, Pierre: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel, 229

Natal: in 1705 an expedition is sent to, 201

Newlands garden: in 1700 is planted by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 191

van Niekerk, Cornelis: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 230

Obiqua mountains: reason for being so called, 189

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

du Pré, Hercules: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel,
230, 232, and 242

Pretorius, Wessel: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel,

van Rheede, Hendrik Adriaan, lord of Mydrecht: is sent out by the
directors with all the powers of a dictator to correct abuses in
Hindostan and Ceylon, and has supreme authority conferred upon him while
at the Cape, 177; from the 19th of April to the 16th of July 1685 he is
in Capetown, 178; and three days before he leaves makes a grant to
Commander Simon van der Stel of the farm Constantia at Wynberg as a
reward for his good conduct, 179

Roman Catholics: position of in the Cape Colony under the Dutch
government, 182

Rotterdam, Jan: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel,
226; account of his return from banishment, 233

Saar’s _Account of Ceylon_: extract from, 174

de Savoye, Jacob: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel,

Scarcity of timber and fuel at the Cape in 1699: mention of, 187

Seasons, the: from 1698 to 1705 are unfavourable for farming, 204

Sheep’s wool: efforts to produce in South Africa in the beginning of the
eighteenth century, 203

Silk: experiment in the production of, 204

Slaves: are being introduced from Madagascar and Mozambique, 205

Spoelstra’s _Bouwstoffen voor de Geschiedenis der
Nederduitsch-Gereformeerde Kerken in Zuid Afrika_: reference to, 217

van Staden, Martin: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 230

Starrenburg, Jan, landdrost of Stellenbosch: conduct of, 224; by order
of the directors he is dismissed from office and sent out of the colony,

van der Stel, Adriaan: in 1623 goes to India in the service of the Dutch
East India Company, 171; in 1638 becomes commander of the island of
Mauritius, ib.; becomes next a military commander, and in that capacity
is sent to Ceylon, 172; on the 19th of May 1646 falls in battle with a
Cingalese army, when nearly his whole force is destroyed, 173

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

van der Stel, Frans, farmer at the Cape and younger brother of the
governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel: makes himself greatly disliked by
the burghers, 217; is required by the directors to leave the colony, and
in April 1708 embarks for Europe, 248

van der Stel, Simon: on the 14th of November 1639 is born at Mauritius,
172; at a very early age is sent to Amsterdam to be educated, 175; is
regarded as their protégé by the directors of the East India Company,
ib.; when grown up marries and becomes the father of six children, ib.;
in 1679 is offered the situation of commander of the Cape settlement,
which he gladly accepts, and in October of that year assumes the duty,
176; like all the chief officials he is prohibited from carrying on
farming operations or speculating in cattle, ib.; he must be regarded as
a model ruler, 177; in 1691 he is promoted to be governor, and in 1692
to be councillor extraordinary of Netherlands India, 179; in February
1699 retires from office, and is succeeded by his eldest son, 180; on
the 24th of June 1712 dies at Constantia, ib.

van der Stel, Willem Adriaan: in February 1699 succeeds his father as
governor of the Cape Colony and councillor extraordinary of Netherlands
India, 180; has previously held various situations in the colony, 187;
in November 1699 sets out on a tour of inspection of the settlement,
188; makes large profits by dealing in wine, 207; in February 1700
obtains an illegal grant of four hundred morgen of ground at
Hottentots-Holland from the Commissioner Wouter Valckenier, 208; which
farm he names Vergelegen, 210; and immediately begins to build upon and
cultivate it, ib.; using the Company’s materials and servants for the
purpose, ib.; until it becomes the most highly tilled ground in the
colony, 211; beyond the mountains he holds an immense tract of country,
on which he keeps a great number of horned cattle and sheep, 212; the
utmost care is taken that no information of these matters reaches the
directors, ib.; on the 15th of March 1701 the directors instruct him to
be on guard, as war with France is imminent, ib.; which order he
disobeys by frequent and long absence at Vergelegen, 215; in 1705 some
of the farmers send a complaint against him to the Indian authorities,
219; which is sent back to him for explanation, 220; on receiving it he
immediately concludes that similar charges will be sent to the directors
and that his farming operations will become known to them, 223; to
prevent this, if possible, he resorts to the most arbitrary and violent
measures, 224; at this very time a commission in Amsterdam is making
inquiry into his conduct, 234; and a committee appointed by the
directors is devising measures for the security of the Cape settlement
in case Vergelegen should not be a myth, 235; the commission of inquiry
investigates the matter very thoroughly, and sends in a report, 237; in
accordance with which the directors issue orders for the immediate
recall of the governor and the other unworthy officials, 241; in April
1708 he leaves the colony, 247; after his dismissal from the Company’s
service he publishes the _Korte Deductie_, as the best excuse he can
make for his conduct, 248; he purchases an estate in the Netherlands,
and in July 1723 dies there, 250

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

van der Stel’s _Korte Deductie_: references to, 210, 211, 212, 214, and

Stellenbosch: is founded under Simon van der Stel’s supervision, 177;
defiant conduct of the residents, 231

System of the Dutch East India Company of paying its officials: is a
very bad one, 176

Tas, Adam: draws up a memorial to the directors, complaining of the
governor, 220; is illegally arrested and committed to prison, 225;
further particulars of the treatment accorded to him, 229 and 242;
journal of, 183

Text of the orders of the directors of the 26th of April 1668
prohibiting the high officials in the settlement from farming land or
dealing in cattle, 179

Text of the order of the directors of the 27th of June 1699 again
prohibiting the chief officials from trading in cattle, 192

Text of the resolution of the directors on the 22nd of June 1700
concerning emigrants, 185

Text of the instructions of the directors to the governor on the 15th of
March 1701 to be on his guard against an attack by the French, 213

Text of the orders of the directors on the 28th of October 1705
reiterating their previous commands that the officials should not
traffic in cattle, 210

Text of the resolution of the assembly of seventeen on the 8th of March
1706, 235

Theal’s _Abstract of the Debates and Resolutions of the Council of
Policy at the Cape from 1651 to 1687_: reference to, 187

Theal’s _Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten over Zuid Afrika_:
references to, 174, 178, 180, 185, 235, 237, 239, and 250

Timber and fuel: scarcity of in 1699 at the Cape, 187

du Toit, François: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel,

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

du Toit, Guillaume: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 230, 232, and 242

Traffic of any kind in cattle is prohibited on the 27th of June 1699 to
the chief officials in the colony, 185

Training of the colonists, 193

Treaty of Utrecht: reference to, 213

Tulbagh Basin: in November 1699 is inspected by Governor Willem Adriaan
van der Stel, 189; description of the basin, ib.; receives from the
governor the name Land of Waveren, 190; in 1700 begins to be occupied,

Valckenier, Wouter: when returning from India to Holland acts as a
commissioner at the Cape, 208; and illegally makes a grant of land to
the governor, 209; is a member of the commission that condemns the
governor for having obtained Vergelegen in an improper manner, 239

Valentijn’s _Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien_: reference to, 173

Vergelegen: is illegally obtained by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 209; the ground is resumed by the East India Company, 244; is
divided into four farms, which are sold separately, 247

War of the Spanish Succession: reference to, 213

Waveren outstation: in 1700 is formed, 190

van der Westhuizen, Nicolaas: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan
van der Stel, 227

Witsenberg: is so named in honour of Nicolaas Witsen, of Amsterdam, 190

Wool; see Sheep’s wool

Wynoch, Christiaan: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der
Stel, 227

van Zyl, Willem: treatment of by Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel,


Albany: settlement of the district of, 255

Barbarians: effect of the influx into the Cape Colony of, 258

Battle in which the army of Natal under English chiefs is almost
annihilated, 291

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

Betshuana refugees: can give very little information upon the interior
of the country, 265

Betshuana tribes: destruction of in the wars of Moselekatse, 258

Bird’s _Annals of Natal_: reference to, 293

du Buis, Coenraad, a notorious freebooter: account of, 270

Cape Colony: extent of in 1835, 255

Causes of the great emigration from the Cape Colony: as given by Louis
Triegard, 273; as given by Pieter Uys, 281

Chase’s _Natal Papers_: reference to, 281

Destruction of human life in the wars of Tshaka and Moselekatse: leaves
great tracts of land without inhabitants, 262

Discontent in South Africa in and before 1835: causes of, 257

D’Urban, Sir Benjamin, governor of the Cape Colony: the confidential
correspondence of is presented by his grandson to the Union government,

Dutch and English colonists: difference in disposition of, 255

Dutch language: the suppression of in the public offices and in the
courts of law is felt as a grievance by the old colonists, 258

English and Dutch colonists: difference in disposition of, 255

Englishmen: in 1835 some forty are living in Natal, 263; list of their
names, 264; in June 1835 fourteen of them send a petition that the
territory may be annexed by Great Britain, ib.; in March 1836 Lord
Glenelg replies refusing to annex Natal, ib.

Fingoes, the: are brought by Sir Benjamin D’Urban from Kaffirland and
located in Peddie, 260

Futu, Bantu chief: particulars concerning, 264

Gardiner’s _Narrative of a Journey to the Zoolu Country in South
Africa_: reference to, 264

_Geslacht Register de Oude Kaapsche Familien_: reference to, 278

Glenelg, Lord, secretary of state for the colonies: maintains that the
colonists are to blame for the Kaffir war of 1835, and abandons the
Province of Queen Adelaide, 262

Glenelg system of dealing with the Kaffirs: particulars concerning, 262

Grahamstown: description of, 257

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

Hottentots: injudicious treatment of, 257

Influx of barbarians into the Cape Colony: effect of, 258

Invasion of the Cape Colony by the Xosas in December 1834: particulars
concerning, 260

Isaacs’ _Travels and Adventures in Eastern Africa, with a Sketch of
Natal_: reference to, 264

Jacobs, Pieter: is leader of the fifth party of emigrants from the Cape
Colony, 277

Jalusa, a Xosa robber captain: moves to the country north of the Orange
river, 267; in September 1836 his entire band is exterminated by the
Basuto, ib.

_Kaffir War of 1835_: origin of the volume so called, 259; reference to,

Land tenure: the new system is not appreciated at first by the cattle
farmers, 258

Maritz, Gerrit Marthinus: is leader of the third party of emigrants from
the Cape Colony, 275

Matiwane, chief of the Amangwane: drives a section of the Tembu tribe
into the Cape Colony, 258

Missionary and philanthropic press: tone of, 259

Moselekatse: effect of the wars of, 258

Natal: description of, 263; number of Bantu residing in 1835, 264;
condition of the emigrant farmers in after the massacres by the Zulus,

Potgieter, Andries Hendrik: is leader of the second party of emigrants
from the Cape Colony, 275; after the massacres by the Zulus goes with
his men to the assistance of the distressed people in Natal, 290; with
Pieter Uys marches into Zululand to attack Dingan, 292; on the 11th of
April 1838 encounters a great Zulu army, and is compelled to retire,
ib.; shortly afterwards leaves Natal and returns to Winburg, 294

Preller’s _Piet Retief, Lewenskets van die Grote Voortrekker_: reference
to, 288

Province of Queen Adelaide: is created by Sir Benjamin D’Urban, 260; is
abandoned by Lord Glenelg, 262

[Sidenote: Historical Sketches.]

van Rensburg, Jan: is leader of a small party of emigrants from the Cape
Colony, 268; in July 1833 leaves Louis Triegard’s party at the
Zoutpansberg to open up a road to Delagoa Bay, 269; and with every
individual in his company is murdered by blacks on the journey, ib.

Resolutions adopted by Pieter Uys and those who agree with him,
asserting independence of Mr. Retief, 283

Retief, Pieter: is leader of the fourth party of emigrants from
the Cape Colony, 275; in June 1837 is installed as governor and
commandant-general of his own party and the one under Maritz, 276; on
the 21st of July 1837 writes to Sir Benjamin D’Urban desiring that the
emigrants may be acknowledged as an independent people, 286; in October
1837 goes over the Drakensberg into Natal, 285; on the 6th of February
1838 is murdered with all his companions at Dingan’s kraal, 280

Sekwati, chief of the Bapedi: mention of, 272

Settlement of the Cape Colony by Europeans: slow progress of, 255

Slaves in the Cape Colony: hasty emancipation of, 257

Smit, Erasmus: reference to the journal of, 275

Smith, G. C. Moore, Esqre., M.A.: assistance rendered by, 260

Tembu tribe: a section of is driven by the Amangwane under Matiwane into
the Cape Colony, 258

Triegard, Louis: family history of, 266; in June 1834 he moves from the
district of Somerset to the bank of the White Kei river beyond the
colonial border, ib.; where about thirty emigrant families are then
residing, 267; here all his slaves run away, ib.; he is believed by the
British officials on the frontier to have induced the Xosas to persevere
in the war against the colony, ib.; he moves northward with the
notorious robber captain Jalusa, ib.; in September 1835 crosses the
Orange river, and then with a number of other emigrants travels onward
to the Zoutpansberg, 268; which he reaches in May 1836, ib.; account of
his residence there until August 1837, when he and his party leave for
Delagoa Bay, 271; they encounter great difficulties on the way, 272; but
in April 1838 reach Lourenço Marques, 273; where they are received with
great kindness by the Portuguese, ib.; but are attacked by fever, from
which in course of time nearly the whole party, including Triegard
himself, dies, ib.; in July 1839 the remnant of the party is rescued and
taken to Natal, 274

Tsetse fly: destructive nature of, 272

Tshaka: effect of the wars of, 258

[Sidenote: Synoptical Index.]

Umnini, petty Bantu chief: particulars concerning, 263

Uys, Pieter Lavras: particulars concerning the family of, 278; personal
character of, 279; in 1834 visits and inspects Natal, 265; is leader of
the sixth party of emigrants from the Cape Colony, 277; travels
northward over the Orange river, with the intention of crossing the
Drakensberg into Natal, 280; on the 7th of August 1837 writes to Sir
Benjamin D’Urban, stating the causes of the emigration, ib.; he assumes
an attitude of independence as regards Mr. Retief, 283; in October 1837
joins Commandant Potgieter in the campaign in which the Matabele are
driven far to the north, 286; in December 1837 visits Natal again, 289;
in February 1838 is in the present Orange Free State when tidings of the
fearful massacres by the Zulus reach him, ib.; he immediately collects
his men and goes down into Natal to the assistance of the distressed
people there, ib.; with Commandant Potgieter marches into Zululand to
attack Dingan, 292; on the 11th of April 1838 is drawn into an ambuscade
and is almost surrounded by a great Zulu army, ib.; when attempting to
retreat is killed with nine others, 293

Uys, Dirk Cornelis: heroic death of, 293

Voigt’s _Fifty Years of the History of the Republic in South Africa_:
reference to, 286

Xosa invasion of the Cape Colony in December 1834: particulars
concerning, 260




 [1] Among the sources of information for the next few pages I must
 mention particularly Arnold’s _History of Rome_, Gibbon’s _Decline and
 Fall of the Roman Empire_, Busk’s _History of Spain and Portugal_, and
 Stephens’ _History of Portugal_.

 [2] The old library of the Ptolemies was consumed in Cæsar’s
 Alexandrian war. Marc Antony gave the whole collection of Pergamus
 (200,000 volumes) to Cleopatra, as the foundation of the _new_ library
 of Alexandria. It was kept in apartments of the great temple of
 Serapis, which was broken down in A.D. 389 by Theophilus, archbishop
 of Alexandria, “the perpetual enemy of peace and virtue, a bold, bad
 man, whose hands were alternately polluted with gold and with blood.”
 The valuable library was pillaged or destroyed. See Gibbon’s _Decline
 and Fall of the Roman Empire_, Chapter XXVIII.

 [3] The Arabs, Persians, and Indians were found at the beginning
 of the sixteenth century of our era to be well acquainted with the
 eastern coast as far south as Cape Correntes, and the Arabs and
 Persians had settlements along the whole of that seaboard. But of this
 Europeans knew absolutely nothing. Beyond Cape Correntes, in latitude
 24° 4´ south, the Asiatics did not venture in their coir-sewn vessels.
 Here the Mozambique current, from which the cape has its present name,
 ran southward with great velocity, usually from two to five kilometres
 an hour, according to the force and direction of the wind, but often
 much faster. The cape had the reputation also of being a place of
 storms, where the regular monsoons of the north could no longer be
 depended upon, and where violent gusts from every quarter would almost
 surely destroy the mariners who should be so foolhardy as to brave
 them. The vivid Arab imagination further pictured danger of another
 kind, for this was the chosen home of those mermaids--believed in also
 by the Greeks of old--who lured unfortunate men to their doom. There
 were legends of ships having been driven far beyond it in gales, and
 having been carried by the current onward to a great ocean in the
 west, from which they had only with the greatest difficulty returned.
 The perils the crews had gone through and the hardships they had
 suffered were magnified as a matter of course, and the dreadful sights
 that had met their eyes were such as to make the boldest shudder. Of
 the shore of that awful sea nothing was known, for no one had ever set
 foot upon it. So Cape Correntes, with its real and fictitious perils,
 was the terminus of Mohamedan enterprise to the south, though there
 were men in Kilwa who sometimes wondered what was beyond it and half
 made up their minds to go overland and ascertain. Had there been a
 Bantu settlement beyond Inhambane there can be no doubt that their
 eagerness to procure ivory would have led them on, but black men had
 replaced the wild aborigines there so shortly before the arrival of
 the Portuguese that there was not time to make the venture.

 [4] For information on the discoveries mentioned here I am indebted
 chiefly to the _Indice Chronologico das Navegações, Viagens,
 Descobrimentos, e Conquistas dos Portuguezes nos Paizes Ultramarinos
 desde o Principio do Seculo XV_, the great history _Da Asia_ of João
 de Barros, Major’s _Discoveries of Prince Henry the Navigator and
 their Results_, and Beazley’s _Prince Henry the Navigator, the Hero of
 Portugal and of Modern Discovery_.

 [5] These islands and even the Canaries had been visited by Genoese
 ships before they were rediscovered by the Portuguese. But as no use
 was made of them by the first visitors, and as knowledge concering
 them was not communicated to the world in general, the Portuguese have
 a fair claim to be regarded as the real discoverers. In the same way
 Columbus is rightly credited with the discovery of America, though the
 Northmen visited its north-eastern coast long before his time.

 [6] It would be interesting to know the exact day on which Dias
 sailed, but I have not found it possible to ascertain it. As already
 observed, before the entrance of Vasco da Gama into the Indian sea
 the dates of the various discoveries given by Portuguese historians
 are not implicitly to be relied upon, and as no original journals
 or logbooks of the early voyages are now in existence, there are no
 means of verifying them. João de Barros is the only historian known
 to me who has placed on record the month and year of sailing and of
 the return of Dias in this voyage, and he does not state the day of
 departure from the Tagus. His words are: (ElRei Dom João) “determinou
 de enviar logo neste anno de quatrocentos e oitenta e seis dobrados
 navios per mar, e homens per terra, pera ver o fim destas cousas.”
 ... “partiram no fim de Agosto do dito anno.” ... “onde chegáram em
 Dezembro do anno de quatrocentos e oitenta e sete, havendo dezeseis
 mezes, e dezesete dias que eram partidos delle.” Barros is the most
 reliable of all the Portuguese historians of that time, and he
 was in a position to obtain the particulars of this voyage, which
 unfortunately he gives so scantily. Neither Damião de Goes in his
 _Chronica do Felicissimo Rei Dom Emanuel da Gloriosa Memoria_ nor
 Fernão Lopes de Castanheda in his _Descobrimento e Conquista da India
 pelos Portuguezes_ mentions the date of the voyage, but both relate
 other particulars which tend to confirm the opinion that it took place
 at the time stated by Barros. For instance, Castanheda states that
 Affonso de Paiva and João Pires de Covilhão commenced their journey
 from Portugal after the departure of Dias, and he agrees with Barros
 in giving the 7th of May 1487 as the date on which they left Santarem.
 The exact dates of Dias passing the Cape of Good Hope eastward, of his
 reaching the mouth of the Infante river, and of the erection of the
 landmark São Philippe cannot be ascertained, but these events in all
 probability occurred in 1487, as making allowance for his detentions
 when leaving the storeship, at Angra dos Ilheos, and afterwards, Dias
 can hardly have reached the latitude of the Cape before the beginning
 of that year. See appendix.

 [7] See the numerous statements concerning this mythical monarch made
 by the early Portuguese writers, copied by me and printed, together
 with English translations, in volumes i, iii, v, vi, and vii of the
 _Records of South-Eastern Africa_. Ultimately the name was applied to
 the ruler of Abyssinia. Index, Prester John, in Vol. ix, page 474.

 [8] “On the 21st of November (1825) a heavy south-east gale set
 in, before which we were carried with great velocity, and in the
 afternoon saw the remains of the cross erected by Bartholomeu Dias
 at the southern extremity of Angra Pequena. Passing by it we (H.M.S.
 _Barracouta_) anchored in the bay, where, although the wind was
 directly off shore, yet such was its violence that the whole surface
 of the water was one vast sheet of foam. Some officers landed with
 Captain Vidal, for the purpose of examining the cross, and obtaining
 the latitude and longitude of the point. They found the sand very
 painful to the eyes, being swept from the surface of the rocks, and
 almost blinding them as they proceeded to the summit of the small
 granite eminence on which Bartholomeu Dias erected his cross, as a
 memento of his discovery of the place. This is said to have been
 standing complete forty years back, but we found that it had been
 cast down, evidently by design, as the part of the shaft that had
 originally been buried in the rock remained unbroken, which never
 could have been the case had it been overturned in any other way than
 by lifting it from the foundation. The inducement to this disgraceful
 act was probably to search for such coins as might have been buried
 beneath the cross; and it is probable that the destroyers, in order
 to make some little amende for their desolation, re-erected a portion
 of the fragments, as we found a piece of the shaft, including the
 part originally placed in the ground, altogether about six feet in
 length, propped up by means of large stones, crossed at the top by a
 broken fragment, which had originally formed the whole length of the
 shaft. This was six feet above ground, and twenty-one inches beneath,
 composed of marble rounded on one side, but left square on the other,
 evidently for the inscription, which, however, the unsparing hand of
 Time, in a lapse of nearly three centuries and a half, had rendered
 illegible. In descending by a different and more craggy path, the
 party suddenly came upon the cross; this was sixteen inches square,
 of the same breadth and thickness as the shaft, and had on the centre
 an inscription, but, like the other, almost obliterated.”--_Narrative
 of Voyages to explore the Shores of Africa, Arabia, and Madagascar,
 performed in H.M. Ships Leven and Barracouta under the direction of
 Captain W. F. W. Owen, R.N._ Two demi octavo volumes, published in
 London in 1833. The extract given above is to be found in Vol. II,
 pages 269 and 270. Two fragments of the pillar are now in the museum
 in Lisbon, and one is in the South African museum in Capetown.

 [9] The probabilities are that they did not, otherwise the information
 they carried back would have been regarded as much more important
 than it was considered to be by the king and by all the writers of
 the time. Ptolemy’s map, on which Africa was made to turn like a horn
 and project so far to the eastward as to enclose the Indian ocean,
 was still treated with respect, and the discoveries of Dias seemed
 at the time as if they tended rather to confirm than to refute this
 geographical feature. According to the view of those who regarded
 Ptolemy and Edrisi as safe guides, Dias had sailed along the southern
 side of the horn, without finding its end, and therefore had not done
 much more than Diogo Cam and other previous explorers. To-day, with
 our knowledge, his feat is regarded very differently, but neither the
 king nor the people considered at the time that it entitled him to any
 special reward or mark of favour.

 [10] The factory of São Jorge da Mina was established in January 1482
 by Diogo d’Azambuja, and was the first permanent Portuguese settlement
 on the western coast of Africa, and the centre of the trade in gold.
 It was wrested from the Portuguese by the Dutch in 1637, and was
 held by them until April 1872, when it was transferred to England in
 exchange for some other territory on the coast. It is now known as

 [11] Called João Pires, of Covilhão, by Damião de Goes, Pedro de
 Covilhão by Castanheda and Barros. Modern Portuguese writers follow
 De Goes in the name. See the _Indice Chronologico das Navegações,
 Viagens, Descobrimentos, e Conquistas dos Portuguezes nos Paizes
 Ultramarinos desde o Principio do Seculo XV._ Lisboa, 1841. João Pires
 on page 69. Barros says of him: “The king, seeing how necessary an
 acquaintance with the Arabic tongue was for this journey, sent upon
 this business one Pedro de Covilhão, a gentleman of his household who
 was well acquainted with it, and in his company another named Affonso
 de Paiva, and they were sent from Santarem on the 7th of May of the
 year 1487.”

 [12] Probably a misprint.

 [13] The German Emperor has since caused an exact copy of it to be
 erected, substituting granite for marble.

 [14] The particulars of this event cannot be ascertained, and it would
 even be doubtful whether Mondragon really rounded the Cape of Good
 Hope if it were not expressly stated in a summary of the directions
 issued by the king for his capture that the robbery of Queimado’s ship
 took place “no canal de Moçambique.”

 [15] I do not mention Sir John Mandeville in the text, because modern
 criticism has proved that what he states concerning India in his
 book _The Voiage and trauayle of syr John Maundeuille, knight, which
 treateth of the way toward Hierusalem, and of maruayles of Inde, with
 other Ilands and Countryes_ was compiled from earlier foreign writers,
 though his work was regarded as genuine and trustworthy by Englishmen
 until recently. Nothing is known of him from contemporary records, and
 it is even regarded as possible that Mandeville was a pseudonym. In
 his book he states that he was born at St. Albans, and travelled in
 the east as far as China between the years 1322 and 1357. It is now
 believed that he really visited Palestine, and his account of that
 country is considered as partly based on personal observation, but
 the remainder of the volume is spurious. The original was written in
 French. See the _Encyclopedia Britannica_, article Mandeville. Of the
 numerous copies of the book, in many languages, in the library of the
 British Museum, the earliest was printed in 1480.

 [16] This sketch is drawn chiefly from Motley’s _Rise of the Dutch
 Republic_ and his _History of the United Netherlands to the Twelve
 Years’ Truce_--1609, the _Geschiedenis des Vaderlands_, by Mr. W.
 Bilderdyk, edited by Professor H. W. Tydeman, seven octavo volumes,
 issued at Amsterdam in 1832 to 1853, _History of the People of the
 Netherlands_, by Petrus Johannes Blok, Ph.D., four demi octavo volumes
 (English edition), published at New York and London, 1898 to 1907,
 (another volume still to appear), _Handboek der Geschiedenis van het
 Vaderland_, by Mr. G. Groen van Prinsterer, two octavo volumes (second
 edition), issued at Amsterdam in 1852, _Histoire de Belgique_, by
 Professor H. Pirenne, of the University of Ghent, second edition of
 Vol. I published at Brussels in 1902, Vol. II published at the same
 place in 1903, and Vol. III in 1907, (other volumes still to appear),
 and _The History of Belgium_, by Demetrius C. Boulger, published at
 London in 1902. Some other works consulted will be mentioned in notes.

 [17] “Belgium ofte Nederland werdt ghemeynelijck verdeelt in
 zeventhien Provincien, meer om dat de Princen daer over regierende,
 seventhien Tytelen van de selve hebben ghevoert, als om andere
 merckelijcke redenen. Want op de ghemeyne vergaderinghen ende
 by-een-comsten der Staten van den Lande, en pleghen de selve in
 soodanighen ghetalle niet te verschijnen, maer sommighe sorteerden
 onder andere, als by exempel: Het Hartoghdom van Limborch met syn
 appendentien: item het Marck-Graeffschap des H. Rycx ofte van
 Antwerpen stemden ende contribueerden onder Brabandt, ’t Graeffschap
 Zutphen maeckte het vierde Quartier van Gelderland: Daer-en-tegens
 Doornijck ende het Doornijcksche Landt: Item Rijssel, Douay ende
 Orchies (synde andersints Steden ende Leden van Wals-Vlaenderen)
 hadden hare stemmen in het bysonder, ende contribueerden apart: Het
 selve gheschiede oock met Valencyn, dat nochtans een Stad ende Lidt
 van Henegouwen is.” _Atlas of Mercator and Hondius_, edition published
 at Amsterdam in 1633. This superb atlas contains a double page map of
 all the provinces and no fewer than thirty maps of different sections.
 A copy obtained by me in Holland is in the South African Public

 [18] See the superb _Atlas_ of Ortelius, published at Antwerp in 1570.
 A copy obtained by me at the Hague is now in the South African Public
 Library. This atlas contains a map of the whole provinces and separate
 maps of Holland, Zeeland, the Frisian provinces, Flanders, and
 Brabant. A comparison of the map of the provinces with one of Holland
 and Belgium to-day will show the great changes that have taken place
 in the interim.

 [19] See Blok’s _History of the People of the Netherlands_, Vol. II,
 page 263.

 [20] There was in the south the large province of Liege, nominally
 a fief of the Holy Roman Empire, under the government of a bishop,
 but it was not counted with the others, though enclosed by some of
 them. It had been conquered by Charles the Headstrong of Burgundy,
 but on his death became independent again, and maintained a perfect
 neutrality thereafter, though its borders were not always respected by
 contending armies. It remained an independent principality until it
 was annexed to France on the 1st of October 1795, and in 1814 for the
 first time was joined to the other provinces to form the kingdom of
 the Netherlands. When Belgium seceded and secured its independence in
 1831 Liege became one of its provinces.

 [21] The greatest of the southern dioceses was Liege, whose bishop was
 first settled at Tongres, then at Maastricht, and from A.D. 708 at
 Liege. In the tenth century the bishops of Liege and Cambrai obtained
 rights as counts over extensive domains.--BLOK.

 [22] The word “king” is used as a convenient one, though Philippe was
 not _king_ of the Netherlands. He was duke of one province, count of
 another, lord of the next, and so on, but under these titles he was
 sovereign of them all.

 [23] Blok gives the number, according to a statement of Requesens, as
 six thousand.

 [24] This differs slightly in detail from the account given by Motley,
 whose authority is so high that it is with reluctance I do not adhere
 to it in every particular. In this instance I follow the Life of
 Boisot, as given in _Leeven en Daden der Doorlughtige Zee-Helden_, a
 quarto volume issued at Amsterdam in 1683.

 [25] The treaty contained thirty articles. It is to be found on
 pages 83 to 88 of Volume II of _A General Collection of Treatys,
 Manifesto’s, Contracts of Marriage, Renunciations, and other Publick
 Papers, from the year 1495, to the year 1712_, second edition
 published in London in 1732.

 [26] See pages 89 to 91 of the volume of _Treaties, etc._, already
 referred to.

 [27] Page 92, Vol. II of the _Collection of Treaties, etc._, already
 referred to.

 [28] _General Collection of Treaties, etc._, Vol. II, pages 103 to 119.

 [29] _General Collection of Treaties, etc._, Vol. II, pages 120 to 127.

 [30] _Collection of Treaties, etc._, Vol. II, pages 128 to 146.

 [31] The account of these voyages is taken from _Begin ende Voortgangh
 van de Vereenighde Nederlantsche Geoctroyeerde Oost Indische
 Compagnie, vervatende de voornaemste Reysen by de Inwoonderen
 derselver Provincien derwaerts gedaen_. Two thick volumes, published
 at Amsterdam in 1646.

 [32] The accounts of the voyages that follow have been taken by me
 from the volumes _Begin ende Voortgangh_ already mentioned, and
 François Valentijn’s _Oud en Nieuw Oost Indien_, five huge volumes
 published at Amsterdam in 1726, checked by the narratives in the first
 three volumes of J. K. J. de Jonge’s _De Opkomst van het Nederlandsch
 Gezag in Oost Indie_, published at the Hague and Amsterdam in 1862-65.
 I also made use of the last volume of Diogo de Couto’s _Da Asia_, in
 order to get the Portuguese version of these events, but obtained very
 little information in it. His work ends with an account of a Dutch
 disaster at Achin before the principal voyages were undertaken. Of
 course the Dutch were to him pirates and rebels.

 [33] It is attached to the original journals, now in the archives
 of the Netherlands. I made a copy of it on tracing linen for the
 Cape government, as it differs considerably from the chart in the
 printed condensed journal of the voyage. In other respects also the
 compilation of the printed journal has been very carelessly executed.

 [34] See the last two volumes of De Couto’s _Da Asia_.

 [35] The first Buddhist commandment, as given in _The Light of Asia_,

    “Kill not, for pity’s sake, and lest thou slay
     The meanest creature on its upward way.”

 [36] Albert died in 1621 and Isabella on the 30th of November 1623,
 and as they left no children, in 1624 Belgium passed again under the
 direct government of Spain. By the treaty of Baden on the 7th of
 September 1714 it was ceded to the emperor Charles VI, and thereafter
 was generally termed the Austrian Netherlands.

 [37] Sections III, XLIX, and L of the treaty of Munster, pages 335 to
 367 of Vol. II _General Collection of Treaties, &c._

 [38] See pages 188 to 202 of Volume II of _A General Collection of
 Treaties, &c._

 [39] See _A Voyage to East India, &c._ by the Rev. Edward Terry.
 London, 1655.

 [40] The name of the Welshman is not given in the _Report on
 Manuscripts in the Welsh language_ by the Historical Manuscripts
 Commission (Vol. I, Part 3), published in London in 1905, from which
 this extract is taken.

 [41] _A Voyage to East India, wherein some things are taken notice of
 in our passage thither, but many more in our abode there, within that
 rich and most spacious Empire. Of the Great Mogols, &c., &c. Observed
 by Edward Terry (then Chaplain to the Right Honorable Sr. Thomas Row,
 Knight, Lord Ambassadour to the great Mogol) now Rector of the Church
 at Grunford, in the County of Middlesex._ A foolscap octavo volume
 of 545 pages, published in London in 1655. Terry says that he went
 to India the year after Sir Thomas Roe in a fleet of six ships--the
 _Charles_, of 1,000 tons, the _Unicorn_, almost as big, the _James_, a
 large ship also, the _Globe_, the _Swan_, and the _Rose_, which were
 smaller. The fleet left the Thames on the 3rd of February 1615 (old
 style, 1616 it would be written now that the year commences on the 1st
 of January), under command of Captain Benjamin Joseph as commodore,
 and it rode at anchor in Table Bay from the 12th to the 28th of June.
 His statement concerning the convicts sent out the previous year does
 not fully agree with the records in the India Office in London, which
 I consulted to obtain information on this subject, and which I follow
 as far as they go, though they are defective.

 [42] See Valentyn’s great work on India, the last volume of which
 contains the history of Ceylon and also of Mauritius. See also the
 volume _Vies des Gouverneurs Generaux_, by J. P. I. du Bois. The
 account of Pieter Kolbe, in his _Caput Bonæ Spei Hodiernum_, is so
 distorted by his bitter animosity towards Simon van der Stel as well
 as towards his son Willem Adriaan that no reliance can be placed upon
 it. Van der Aa, in his _Biographisch Woordenboek der Nederlanden_,
 says that Simon van der Stel, son of Adriaan van der Stel and
 Monica da Costa, was born in Amsterdam, but that is a mistake, and
 not the only one in the article. See _Biographisch Woordenboek der
 Nederlanden_, door A. J. van der Aa, Zeventiende Deel, Tweede Stuk,
 Haarlem, 1874. I copied the article on the Van der Stel family in
 the above work, and published it in 1911 in the third part of my
 _Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten over Zuid Afrika_. It will be
 found on pages 11 and 12 of the volume.

 In Johan Saar’s _Account of Ceylon 1647-1657_, this event is related
 as follows: “To pick a quarrel they (the Hollanders) seized upon four
 of the best elephants of the King of Candi. He, as a sensible man,
 sent word to the Hollanders that he had no intention to do anything
 against them, and he expected them, for their part, to act likewise;
 he had called them in as friends to be his allies against the
 Portuguese, and he hoped therefore that they would not settle in his
 territory. But the Hollanders from the beginning were bent upon war.
 When the king saw that it could not be avoided, he collected by one of
 his generals (a Saude, or what we should call a Count) about 60,000
 men, chiefly natives, besides a few Portuguese whom he had formerly
 made captives, and who had entered his service. He would no longer
 trust the Hollanders.... In the following year (Anno Christi 1646)
 in the month of May, Mr. van der Stält (Van der Stel) received fresh
 orders to march with 150 men (picked soldiers), plenty of ammunition,
 powder, lead, and other materials of war, and also two field guns. He
 met with the heathen Saude in a small clearing, but as the latter had
 no orders to fight, because the king was still disinclined to go to
 war, he withdrew into the forest. The Hollanders opened a heavy fire
 from their field-guns and fire-arms, so that 400 were killed, and many
 were wounded. As the Hollanders had taken the offensive, the Saude did
 not care to act only on the defensive. He therefore came out of the
 forest, and closing round our people, attacked them with such energy
 that he cut off the head of Mr. Van der Stel, who had been carried
 in a palanquin or litter, clad in red scarlet. Of our men, who had
 numbered 150, they got 103 heads. The rest fled into the jungle and
 hid themselves as best they could. When the King, who had been near,
 heard of the onslaught he hurried to the spot, and although he was
 told that his men had been forced to fight, he showed displeasure. At
 once he ordered drums to be beaten and proclamation to be made that
 none of the Hollanders who had fled into the jungle were to be killed,
 but they were to be brought alive before him; that he would treat them
 well; and that he would swear by his God that he was innocent of the
 bloodshed. He then gave directions to have the head of Mr. Van der
 Stel put into a silver bowl, and covered it with white cloth, and sent
 it by one of the prisoners to their Captain in the great camp, to say
 that this was the head of Mr. Van der Stel, and that the King would
 see his body as well as the other 103 bodies decently buried.”

 [44] The instructions and orders of the lord of Mydrecht were copied
 by me from the original document in the Cape archives, and were
 published in 1896 in Deel I _Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten_. They
 occupy pages 1 to 48 of that pamphlet.

 [45] “Wij cunnen geensints verstaen dat den Commandeur en die van
 zijnen Raden voortaen haer eygen thuynen en bestiael sullen hebben
 of houden, meer als hij off sij tot hun eygen gesin sullen van noden
 hebben maer gehouden wesen haer daer van t’ ontledigen.” Despatch
 dated at Amsterdam on the 26th of April 1668, and signed by all of the
 seventeen directors. In the Cape archives, and copy in those at the

 [46] See the Resolutions of the Assembly of Seventeen, copied by me
 from the original volumes in the Archives at the Hague, and published
 in Deel III _Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten over Zuid Afrika_, an
 octavo volume of 435 pages, printed for the Union Government in 1911.

 [47] In secluded parts of South Africa, where it would not be possible
 to have one made in time after death, this precaution is still taken,
 but elsewhere the custom has died out. I have known instances of it in
 Canada also.

 [48] Two fragments of a journal kept by Adam Tas have been preserved:
 one from the 13th of June to the 14th of August 1705, in the archives
 at the Hague, the other, from the 7th of December 1705 to the 27th of
 February 1706, in the South African public library in Capetown, and
 they give a graphic picture of life in the country districts at the
 time. Whenever a friend came to his house or he went to a friend’s,
 they at once sat down to chat and drink wine and smoke tobacco, when
 if the party was large and included wives and daughters, playing cards
 was resorted to as a pastime. The quantity of coffee and tea consumed
 was very large. The vicious custom of returning incorrect numbers of
 cattle and sheep for taxation purposes was already prevalent, and Tas,
 who was certainly not a dishonest man in other matters, was unable to
 see that this was a crime deserving punishment. Professor Leo Fouché,
 of Pretoria, has copied these interesting fragments, and informs me
 that he intends to publish them.

 [49] It was only natural that the Huguenot refugees should be warmly
 attached to their native country, and long to be able to return to it.
 It was noticed in England as well as in Holland and Prussia that the
 French exiles had no hesitation in declaring that if Louis XIV would
 only restore the edict of Henri IV and pledge himself to observe it
 faithfully, they would return to the land of their birth and be his
 most faithful subjects. It was believed that they would not return
 and profess adherence to the state church while in their hearts
 remaining Calvinists and secretly practising the Calvinistic form of
 worship, as many of those who remained behind were doing, but the
 governments of the countries in which they had taken refuge were at
 this time suspicious of their attachment under all circumstances. In
 South Africa the Dutch section of the population--or at least some of
 them--believed that the Huguenots would not assist to repel a French
 invasion. It was only when the children born in the lands of refuge
 grew up that the strong attachment of the Huguenots to France died out.

 [50] “Op het rapport van de heeren commissarissen ingevolge van
 de resolutie commissorial van den 16 deses, geëxamineerd hebbende
 het wensch van de colonie van de Caap de Bonne Esperance, en het
 senden van vrije luijden derwaarts breeder in voorn. resolutie ter
 nedergestelt, is in conformite van ’t geadviseerde goetgevonden en
 geresolveert de respectieve kameren te authoriseeren omme eenige vrije
 luijden soo mannen vrouwen als kinderen vrij van kost en transport
 gelt derwaarts te senden, mitsgaders zorg dragende en lettende dat
 het soo veel doenlijk is mogen zijn Nederlanders of onderdaanen van
 dese Staat of van Hoogduijtsch natien geen trafieq ter zee doende,
 mitsgaders van de gereformeerde of Luyterse godsdienst, hun op de
 lantbouw of culture der wijnen verstaende, dogh geen franschen, de
 selve om redenen in voorn. als anders in ’t geheel excuserende.”
 Résolution of the Assembly of Seventeen adopted on the 22nd of June
 1700, copied by me from the original records at the Hague, and
 published in 1911 on page 2 of _Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten
 over Zuid Afrika_, Deel III.

 [51] See resolution of that date on page 6 of the volume already

 [52] These instructions are given in the original on page 192.

 [53] See the original records of the council of policy in the Cape
 archives, or my _Abstract of the Debates and Resolutions of the
 Council of Policy at the Cape from 1651 to 1687_, an octavo volume of
 233 pages, published at Capetown in 1881.

 [54] “daerop hebben wij naegesien ’t geene wij bij onsen brieff van
 den 14 Julij 1695 soo raeckende den Landtbouw als het bestiael beijde
 van de Comp: hebben geschreven, en gemeijnt dat soo wel de voors:
 Lantbouw, als het aenhouden van het bestiael, geensints een werck is,
 de Comp: convenierende off dat die haer daermede behoort te bemoeijen,
 maer dat deselve in tegendeel dat aen de vrijeluijen dient over te
 laeten soo om die daer door te beter te doen subsisteren ... met
 uijtsluytinge van Comps: dienaren die soo wel in den politicquen raed,
 als in den raedt van justitie compareren, en Sessie in deselve hebben,
 aen dewelcke wij verstaen, dat alle leverantie aen de Comp: sal werden
 benomen, off haer ontseijt.”--Despatch to the governor and council of
 policy at the Cape, dated at Amsterdam on the 27th of June 1699, and
 signed by fifteen of the directors.

 [55] This clergyman was of French descent, was educated for the
 ministry of the Roman catholic church, and had been a monk in the
 abbey of Boneffe in Belgium. After becoming a Protestant he wrote a
 book entitled _Dwalingen van het Pausdom_. He could converse in many
 languages, and was unquestionably a man of high ability and learning,
 but he was of irascible disposition and wherever he went was engaged
 in strife. After he left South Africa he became a doctor of laws,
 and died at a very advanced age at Batavia in 1748, after having
 been during the preceding nineteen years minister of the Protestant
 Portuguese congregation at that place.

 [56] See the report of the commissioners Pieter de Vos and Hendrik
 Bekker, signed at Batavia on the 18th of September 1706. Copy in the
 Cape archives.

 [57] As he was an ordinary councillor of India and admiral of the
 return fleet he was higher in rank than the governor. His commission
 from the Indian authorities directed him to see that the laws were
 properly carried out, but he had no power given to him to make any
 new laws, and of course none to annul or suspend any order of the
 directors, which even the high Indian authorities could not do.

 [58] The first was a grant of the farm now occupied by the English
 archbishop of Capetown to Commander Jan van Riebeek, before the order
 of 1668 was issued, the second was the grant of Constantia already

 [59] “Alle de Coloniers (goet vlees leverende) sonder dese of geene
 begunstighde daerinne boven anderen te prefereren, en sulex sonder
 onderscheijt tot voors: leverantie sal hebben te admitteren. Dan
 aengesien wij considereren dat voorsz: leverantie onder anderen
 mede moet geaght werden te sijn een voorregt der vrije Ingesetenen
 en Coloniers deselve privative competerende met uijtsluijtingh van
 Comps: dienaren, die met haer Soldije en emolumenten moeten te vreden
 sijn, en daermede oock genoeghsaem kunnen bestaen, soo verstaen en
 begeeren wij dat niemant van Comps: dienaren, den gouverneur daer
 onder mede begrepen, eenigh versch vlees aen Comps: schepen, hospitael
 etc: sal mogen leveren, direct of indirect, maer ’t selve op den
 ontfangst deses voortaen alleen door de vrije Ingesetenen moeten
 geschieden.”--Despatch signed by fifteen of the directors, dated at
 Middelburg on the 28th of October 1705. In the Cape archives and
 copy in those of the Netherlands. This order was sent out, because
 complaints had already been received in Holland that the governor was
 disregarding the laws on the subject.

 [60] When trying to excuse his conduct to his friends after all this
 was made known to the directors and he had been dismissed from the
 service, the late governor admitted, as he could not deny it, that he
 had occasionally taken Hertog with him to Vergelegen for the purpose
 here mentioned. See the _Korte Deductie van Willem Adriaen van der
 Stel: tot destructie ende wederlegginge van alle de klaghten, die
 eenige vrijluijden van de voorsz Cabo aen de Edele Achtbare Heren
 Bewinthebberen van de Oost Indische Compagnie over hem hadden gedaen_.
 A foolscap folio volume of 172 pages, published in Holland--the name
 of the town is not given--soon after his recall and dismissal from the
 Company’s service. But his opponents proved conclusively that Hertog
 was there for six or eight months at a time, while drawing pay from
 the Company, and they published some of his written orders as manager
 of the place. See the _Contra Deductie ofte Grondige Demonstratie van
 de valsheit der witgegevene Deductie by den Ed: Heer Willem Adriaan
 van der Stel, Geweezen Raad Extraordinaris van Nederlandsch India,
 en Gouverneur aan Cabo de Goede Hoop, etc., etc., etc.; waar in niet
 alleen begrepen is een nauwkeurig Historisch Verhaal, van al ’t geene
 de Heer van der Stel in den jare 1706 heeft werkstellig gemaakt, on
 de Vrijburgeren aan de Kaab t’ onder te brengen: maar ook een beknopt
 Antwoort op alle in gemelde Deductie, en deszelfs schriftelijke
 Verantwoordinge, voorgestelde naakte uitvluchten, abuseerende
 bewysstukken, en andere zaken meer: strekkende tot Verificatie van’t
 Klachtschrift, in den jare 1706 aan Haar Wel Edele Hoog Achtbaarheden,
 de Heeren Bewinthebberen ter Illustre Vergadering van Zeventienen
 afgezonden; zynde gesterkt door veele authenticque en gerecolleerde
 Bewysstukken, waar van de origineele of authenticque Copyen in handen
 hebben de twee Gemachtigden van eenige der Kaapsche Inwoonderen
 Jacobus van der Heiden en Adam Tas_. A foolscap folio volume of
 318 pages, published at Amsterdam in 1712. This volume refutes the
 statements made in the _Korte Deductie_, and contains some very strong
 evidence given under oath. It is otherwise interesting, as being the
 first book entirely prepared in South Africa.

 [61] In his _Korte Deductie_ the late governor asserted that he had
 purchased over two hundred slaves for his private use. The Company
 allowed him twenty of its male and female slaves as domestic servants
 in his residence in the castle, and these he sent to his farm,
 employing his own instead. He denied making use of other government
 slaves than these for his private work. He stated that the soldiers
 and sailors were temporarily detached from the public service, in
 the manner usual in times of peace, and were paid and maintained by
 him while they were in his service. The only other soldiers that he
 admitted as having worked at Vergelegen were those who formed his
 escort when he went there, and who, he asserted, might better have
 been occupied during their stay at the farm than have been idle. But
 see the note on page 218.

 [62] The quantity of wheat produced at Vergelegen is not given in the
 archives, but is stated by Bogaert, who is a trustworthy authority, at
 over eleven hundred muids yearly.

 [63] In his _Korte Deductie_ he stated that by purchasing from farmers
 and by the natural increase of his stock he had some thousands of
 sheep and some hundreds of horned cattle, but that he did not know the
 exact number. Instead of eighteen stations, he asserted that he had
 eight folds or kraals, but that part of his attempted excuse for his
 conduct is so palpably misleading that it is of no value whatever. The
 statistics given here are from those obtained after his recall.

 [64] “Ondertusschen sullen uE: haer mede op hoede hebben te
 houden.”--Despatch signed by twelve of the directors, dated at
 Amsterdam on the 15th of March 1701.

 [65] He was able to prove that he had paid for some timber drawn from
 the Company’s magazine, but the evidence of the master of a ship shows
 how articles could be obtained even where invoices and disbursements
 were audited. The skipper of one of the Company’s vessels needed a
 small quantity of iron for repairs, which he drew from the magazine.
 Before he sailed he was required to sign a receipt for a very much
 larger quantity, and on his remonstrating he was told that such was
 the usual custom. He grumbled, but was at length induced to attach his
 signature to the document. The receipt then became a voucher for the
 use of so much iron in the Company’s service. Willem Adriaan van der
 Stel was a poor man when he arrived in South Africa, and could not
 have established Vergelegen with his own means, although he received
 large bribes for favours granted. In Tas’s journal it is stated that
 from the contractor Henning Huising he obtained three thousand sheep,
 two slaves, and over £833, but no particulars are given as to the
 nature of the transaction. The bribers may be morally as guilty as the
 bribed, but with such a man as Willem Adriaan van der Stel there was
 no other way of getting any business transacted.

 [66] Such extreme precaution was used to prevent the governor’s
 movements from becoming known in Holland or India that it is now
 impossible to ascertain from any documents in the archives which
 of these statements is correct. The long intervals that frequently
 occurred during his administration between the meetings of the council
 of policy, however, prove that the periods named by the burghers
 were quite possible. In 1700 there was one meeting in January, four
 meetings in February, one in March, one in April, one in May, one on
 the 28th of June, one on the 30th of August, and one on the 18th of
 December. In 1701 there was one meeting in January, three meetings in
 March, one on the 26th of May, one on the 29th of August, and one on
 the 30th of December. In 1702 there were only six meetings in all, the
 first being on the 23rd of May, in 1703 there were only five meetings,
 and in 1704 the same number. In 1705 there were ten meetings, with an
 interval of two months in one instance and of nearly three months in
 another. This is not very important, however, as the time of absence
 from his post admitted by himself is sufficient to convict him of
 unfaithfulness to his trust.

 [67] This grant was of course illegal, as being in opposition to the
 orders of the directors in 1668, and Elsevier’s making use of it
 was the ground of his dismissal from the service when the directors
 became acquainted with the circumstances. There is so little on record
 concerning it that it is not now possible to say why Simon van der
 Stel acted as he did, but he may have reasoned that as the lord of
 Mydrecht would have given ground to the secunde in 1685, if the holder
 of the situation at that time had chosen to accept it, it would not be
 wrong to give it to another secunde. This is only supposition, but I
 cannot think of anything else that would have caused the old governor
 to overstep his authority in this manner.

 [68] See letter from the reverend Petrus Kalden to the Classis of
 Amsterdam, dated 26th of April 1707, given in _Bouwstoffen voor de
 Geschiedenis der Nederduitsch-Gereformeerde Kerken in Zuid Afrika_,
 door C. Spoelstra, V.D.M. Volume I, page 56.

 [69] For these statistics see the sworn depositions of men who had
 worked for him, printed in the _Contra Deductie_. The charge of not
 paying the Company its legal dues he took no notice of in his attempt
 to excuse his conduct, and there is not the slightest trace of such a
 payment being made in the accounts or other records of the time. The
 names of over sixty of the Company’s soldiers and sailors who worked
 for him for considerable periods are given under oath in the _Contra
 Deductie_, and of them he only accounted for twenty-eight as being
 paid by him. There is positive proof of his using the Company’s slaves
 on his farm, but the charge of taking twenty-five for himself and
 causing them to be written off in the Company’s books as having died
 must be regarded as doubtful. That the Company’s master gardener, Jan
 Hertog, was the overseer at Vergelegen, that the workmen there were
 under his direction, and that he was not away from the place for eight
 months at a time, was fully proved.

 [70] See the _Contra Deductie_, pages 126, 180, and 279. Kolbe states
 that his wife attempted to commit suicide on account of his conduct,
 but I would be disinclined to accept the evidence of that author
 unless it was well supported. Tas, however, in his journal, states
 on information supplied to him that in December 1705 the governor’s
 wife tried to drown herself by jumping into the fountain behind her
 residence at the Cape, and that Mrs. Bergh sprang forward and drew her
 out of the water. She complained that life was a misery to her, owing
 to what she was obliged to see and hear daily. Of Mrs. Van der Stel
 so little is known that it would not be right to express an opinion
 as to whether her conduct towards her husband was or was not such
 as to provoke him to neglect her for other women, but this can be
 said with confidence, that the man who was utterly faithless towards
 his country, his rulers, and one who was weak enough to trust him
 as Wouter Valckenier had done, may without hesitation be pronounced
 capable of being equally faithless towards the mother of his children,
 the most unhappy woman in the settlement.

 [71] This charge can neither be proved nor disproved by any documents
 in the Cape archives. But there is one circumstance in connection
 with it that throws strong suspicion upon the governor, and under any
 circumstances shows that he paid no attention to the instructions of
 the authorities in Holland. Their orders of the 27th of June 1699,
 throwing open to the burghers the cattle trade with the Hottentots,
 reached Capetown on the 24th of November of the same year; having been
 brought by the flute _De Boer_, which sailed from Texel on the 17th
 of July. The governor did not return to the castle from his visit
 to the Tulbagh basin until the 14th of December,--all his movements
 when absent on duty are carefully recorded,--and a placaat announcing
 the will of the directors ought to have been issued on the following
 day. Instead of that, however, it was not published until the 28th of
 February 1700, and then only owing to the presence of the commissioner
 Wouter Valckenier. It was during these two months and a half, as
 the burghers asserted, that the governor’s agents were engaged in
 procuring horned cattle and sheep for him by fair means or by foul,
 and that the Hottentots to a considerable distance from the Cape were
 despoiled and exasperated. From his general character, as delineated
 in the archives, one cannot say that he would scruple even at acts of

 [72] See letters from the governor and council at the Cape to the
 governor-general and council of India, dated 18th of March 1706, and
 to the directors, dated 31st of March and 24th of June 1706, in the
 Cape archives. The abuse heaped upon the burghers in these documents
 is enormous, and indicates how weak the governor must have felt his
 attempted defence to be.

 [73] This document is in the Cape archives. It is in as good a state
 of preservation--excepting one leaf--as if it had been drawn up

 [74] See the letter of the governor and council at the Cape to the
 governor-general and council of India, of the 18th of March 1706.
 For this and subsequent events to the governor’s recall see the
 Proceedings of the Council of Policy and the Cape Journal for 1706 and
 1707 in the Cape archives.

 [75] One of the chief privileges secured to the free Netherlanders
 by their revolt against Spain and the long and successful war that
 followed was security from confinement except as a punishment for
 crime. A man suspected of having committed an offence could be
 arrested on a warrant properly issued by a court of justice, and was
 then either released on bail or speedily brought to trial, according
 to the nature of the charge.

 [76] In a letter to the Indian authorities it is also termed blasphemy.

 [77] “Maar Edele Gestrenge Heer, de wyven zyn alsoo gevaarlyk als
 de mans, en zyn niet stil.”--Extract from a letter of the landdrost
 Starrenburg to the governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel, dated 18th of
 September 1706. In the Cape archives.

 [78] See letter from the governor-general and council of India to the
 governor and council at the Cape, dated 30th of November 1706. In the
 Cape archives.

 [79] Tas mentions in his journal under date 19th of June 1705 that
 he had heard of complaints about the governor having reached the
 Netherlands, but gives no particulars.

 [80] “Tot het stellen van de nodige ordres voor de securiteijt van de
 Caep de bonne Esperance, en daer toe soodanige middelen te adhiberen
 en in ’t werck stellen, alsmede tot bereijkingh van dat ooghmerck
 sal nodigh en dienstigh aghten, is goetgevonden te versoecken en
 committeren, gelijck als versoght en gecommittert werden bij dese,
 wegens de kamer Amsterdam de heeren Witsen en Hooft, wegens de kamer
 Zeeland de heer d’Huijbert, en wegens de kameren van ’t zuijder en
 noorder quartier de heeren van Blois en van Gent, beneffens beijde d’
 advocaten van de Compagnie.”--Resolution of the Assembly of Seventeen
 adopted on the 8th of March 1706, copied by me from the original
 volume in the archives at the Hague, and published in _Belangrijke
 Historische Dokumenten over Zuid Afrika_, Deel III, page 3.

 [81] See _Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten over Zuid Afrika_, Deel
 III, page 7.

 [82] See _Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten over Zuid Afrika_, Deel
 III, page 7.

 [83] They can be seen in the letter of the governor and the council of
 policy to the directors, dated 31st of March 1706, in the archives at
 the Hague and copy in those at Capetown, also in the printed volume
 called the _Korte Deductie_.

 [84] These rations included three hundred and sixty pounds of flour, a
 still larger quantity of rice, fresh meat equal to four sheep, twenty
 pounds of salted beef or pork, a very large quantity of European wine,
 ale, and spirits, oil, vinegar, four pounds of pepper, two pounds of
 spices, and twenty-five pounds of butter monthly, besides twenty-five
 pounds of wax and tallow candles, and as much fuel as he needed. He
 was supposed to entertain the masters of ships when they were ashore
 on business, and was therefore provided for so liberally. He was
 also required to give a dinner to all the principal officers of the
 fleets returning from India, just before they sailed, which was termed
 the afscheidmaal, but for this he was paid £41 13_s._ 4_d._ by the
 Company. A carriage and horses were also provided for him free of
 cost, so that he had no forage to purchase. Under these circumstances
 his excuse seems to be as silly as it was impudent. His actual salary
 was only two hundred gulden or £16 13_s._ 4_d._ a month, less than
 that of a second class clerk in the public service to-day, but he had
 various fees and perquisites.

 [85] The other members were Messrs. Lestevenon, De Vries, Corven, Bas,
 Hooft, Van Dam, Velters, De Witt, Van der Waeijen, Van de Blocquerij,
 Hoogeveen, Muijssart, Maarseveen, Trip, and Goudoeven. For the actual
 text of the resolution see _Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten over
 Zuid Afrika_, Deel III, pages 7, 8, and 9.

 [86] The original letter is now in the Cape archives, and the office
 copy is in the archives of the Netherlands at the Hague.

 [87] This appointment of a military man as head of the government was
 made specially to secure his constant presence in the castle in time
 of war, as the directors were startled by the conduct of Van der Stel
 in neglecting his duty as he had done.

 [88] _Biographisch Woordenboek der Nederlanden_, door A. J. van der
 Aa, Zeventiende Deel, Tweede Stuk, published at Haarlem in 1874.
 Copied by me and published in _Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten over
 Zuid Afrika_, Deel III, pages 11 and 12.

 [89] Better known to English readers as Moselekatse, the Setshuana
 form of his name. He was the father of the late chief Lobengula.

 [90] The private, confidential, and semi-official correspondence
 between Governor Sir Benjamin D’Urban, Colonel H. G. Smith,
 Lieutenant-Colonel H. Somerset, and many others, was fortunately
 preserved by the governor and remained in his family’s possession
 until 1911, when it was most kindly presented by his grandson W. S.
 M. D’Urban, Esqre., of Exeter, through me to the government of the
 Union of South Africa. I immediately published one volume of these
 most valuable papers under the title of _The Kaffir War of 1835_,
 which can be seen in several of the most important public libraries
 in Great Britain and the Netherlands as well as in those of South
 Africa. I copied sufficient for two volumes more, which can be seen
 typewritten in the South African Public Library, Capetown, under
 the title of _The Province of Queen Adelaide_, and finally I am now
 preparing another packet, under the title of _The Emigration of the
 Dutch Farmers from the Cape Colony_, which will also be deposited in
 the same institution. It is from these papers that I have derived the
 information which enables me to enlarge upon the accounts of Louis
 Triegard and Pieter Lavras Uys which I have given in my _History of
 South Africa_. I am also indebted to G. C. Moore Smith, Esqre., M.A.,
 of Sheffield, a great nephew of Colonel (afterwards Sir Harry) Smith,
 for the use of many papers in his possession and for much kindly
 assistance otherwise rendered to me.

 [91] He was a lineal descendant of the ruling family of the Amatuli
 tribe, the remnant of which had been reduced to such a wretched
 condition that they depended chiefly upon fish for subsistence. This
 is an article of diet that would only be used by this section of the
 Bantu in the last extremity of want, but they dared not make a garden
 or even erect a hut before the arrival of Messrs. Farewell and Fynn
 in 1824, for fear of attracting notice. Umnini was then a child, and
 his uncle Matubana was regarded as the temporary head of the little
 community of three or four hundred souls that had escaped when the
 remainder of their tribe was destroyed.

 [92] The petition is in the archive department, a typewritten copy
 in the South African Public Library. The names attached to it are
 those of A. Gardiner, Henry Hogle (elsewhere written Ogle), Charles
 J. Pickman, P. Kew, J. Francis, J. Mouncey, G. Lyons, Charles
 Adams, James Collis, John Cane, R. Ward, Thomas Carden, Richard
 King, J. Prince, and Daniel Toohey. On the 29th of March 1836 Lord
 Glenelg replied refusing to annex Natal. Other European residents,
 either permanent or occasional, at Port Natal at this time were C.
 Blankenberg, Richard Wood, William Wood, Thomas Halstead, J. Pierce,
 John Snelder, Alexander Biggar, Robert Biggar, George Biggar, John
 Jones, Henry Batts, William Bottomley, John Campbell, Thomas Campbell,
 Richard Lovedale, John Russell, Robert Russell, John Stubbs, Robert
 Dunn, G. Britton, James Brown, George Duffy, Richard Duffy, Thomas
 Lidwell, C. Rhoddam, and G. White.

 [93] When Mr. Isaacs lived in Natal--October 1825 to June 1831--the
 Zulus occupied the territory between the Tugela and Tongati rivers,
 but from this tract of country they were withdrawn in 1834 by Dingan.
 In 1828 Tshaka was murdered at his residence there. At the port and
 near the Umzimkulu the Bantu under European chiefs were living. The
 remainder of the territory was uninhabited except by Bushmen on
 the uplands and a few cannibals. Mr. Isaacs says: “our settlement,
 which was somewhat circumscribed, contained upwards of two thousand
 persons.”--_Travels and Adventures, &c._, Volume II, page 326.

 [94] The people under the chief Futu, some of whose kraals were found
 by Captain Gardiner on the head waters of the Umkomanz river, should
 not be included in the population of Natal at that time. They were
 refugees from the north, and frequently moved from one locality to
 another. Shortly after Captain Gardiner’s visit they retired to the
 Umtamvuna. Their chief, Futu, was the son of Nombewu, who was killed
 by Ncapayi, the ferocious leader of the Bacas. Captain Gardiner
 estimated the people under Futu at different places in Natal at from
 seven to eight thousand souls. See pages 312 _et seq._ of his volume.

 [95] See _The Annals of Natal_, by John Bird, Pietermaritzburg, 1888,
 Vol. I, page 75.

 [96] By a Proclamation of the 11th of September 1834 the removal of a
 slave beyond the border of the colony was punishable by the forfeiture
 of the slave, a fine of £100, transportation, or imprisonment with
 hard labour from three to five years. It was based upon an Imperial
 _Act to amend and consolidate the Laws relating to the Abolition of
 the Slave Trade_.

 [97] Mr. Willem Hendrik Neethling, afterwards landdrost of Klerksdorp,
 who was living in Lydenburg in 1867 and was then twenty-three years
 of age, in a communication to President F. W. Reitz which has been
 kindly lent to me, says: “Wat betreft het verhaal re de twee Blanken
 die te Lijdenburg aanlandden, is dat eene dwaling. Ik ben in staat
 UEd. volkomen daarover in te lichten. Het waren geen Europeanen of
 Caukassiers, maar wel Albinos van het neger ras. Zij waren man en
 vrouw en twee kinderen. Het derde is te Lijdenburg geboren. De man
 heette Tjaka, de alombekende slangen tegen-vergift maker. De man
 was reeds op leeftijd, doch ik schatte de vrouw 27 of 28 jaren oud.
 Toen het gerucht verspreid werd van de teruggevonden blanken heb ik
 mij gehaast om ze zelven te zien, en vond uit dat zij Albinos waren,
 zeer blank, doch met neger type, met de on-ontwikkelde neusbeen, en
 kroeshaar. Zij kwamen van Kosi-baai, en zijn er weder heen vertrokken.
 Ik heb se persoonlijk gesproken. Zij waren van staatswege gehaald op

 [98] Since the publication of my _History of South Africa_, a journal
 kept by Mr. Erasmus Smit from the 15th of November 1836 to the 31st
 of January 1839 has been brought to light and in 1897 was printed in
 Capetown. It forms an octavo pamphlet of one hundred and eight pages.
 Mr. Smit, a native of Amsterdam, had once been a lay missionary in
 the service of the London Society, later a schoolmaster at Oliphants
 Hoek, and was married to a sister of Mr. Gerrit Maritz. He was a man
 of fifty-eight years of age and infirm in health, but he joined his
 brother-in-law’s party, and left the colony with it, being engaged
 to perform religious services in the camp. During the stay of the
 emigrants at Thaba Ntshu he was exceedingly jealous of the reverend
 James Archbell, Wesleyan missionary there, whom he suspected of a
 design of wishing to supplant him. On the 21st of May 1837 Mr. Retief
 appointed him religious instructor of the emigrants, whereupon he
 ordained himself and thereafter administered the sacraments and
 performed all the duties of a clergyman. I have found nothing in
 his journal that enables me to add to the account of the emigration
 given in my _History_, but there are in it a few remarks that are of
 assistance to me in the preparation of this paper.

 [99] The actual separation into two distinct communions, as we see
 them to-day, had not then taken place, but the principles underlying
 the movement were already at work, and had been for many years. There
 was not as much difference between the two parties as there is in the
 English episcopal church between the high and the low sections, but it
 was sufficient to cause those with common sympathies to keep together
 as much as they could.

 [100] See pages 451 to 455 of Volume III _Geslacht Register der Oude
 Kaapsche Familien_, published at Capetown in 1894. The family Uys in
 1836 was a very large one, and was widely spread over the Cape Colony.

 [101] See page 302 of the printed volume of records entitled _The
 Kaffir War of 1835_.

 [102] This refers to the following occurrence. During the war, while
 Uys was in the field, a complaint, afterwards proved to be frivolous,
 was made against his wife to the nearest special magistrate for the
 protection of apprentices, who issued a warrant, and she was taken
 to Port Elizabeth to be tried. Upon her innocence being clearly
 established she was liberated, and an action was then brought
 before the circuit court against the special magistrate for false
 imprisonment. The chief justice, who was the circuit judge, and before
 whom the case was tried, condemned the special magistrate to pay the
 costs, but these were defrayed for him out of the district treasury,
 on the ground that otherwise he would be deterred from doing his legal
 duty when complaints were made to him.--See Chase’s _Natal Papers_.

 [103] Sir Benjamin D’Urban provisionally extended the boundary of
 the colony to the Kraai river, and on the 6th of November 1835
 Lieutenant-Colonel Henry Somerset, who visited the north-eastern
 districts as an agent of the governor, issued a notice that Stephanus
 Petrus Erasmus was to be fieldcornet of the newly annexed ward. In
 September of this year one hundred and sixty families were reported to
 be living on the Stormberg spruit and the Kraai river. See the D’Urban
 papers in the South African Public Library. A full account of the
 massacres and robberies by the Matabele will be found in my _History
 of South Africa_.

 [104] See his _Fifty Years of the History of the Republic in South
 Africa (1795-1845)_, published in London in 1899, Volume II, pages 23
 to 28.

 [105] I am unable to add to or amend the accounts of these events
 given by me a quarter of a century ago in my _History_, except in
 one particular. The number of men and boys murdered at Umkungunhlovu
 on the 6th of February 1838 (page 318, volume ii, _History of South
 Africa since September 1795_) should be sixty-seven, not sixty-six,
 and to the names should be added that of Pieter Retief, junior. This
 is found in Mr. Boshof’s list, but not in most of those made shortly
 after the event. These vary from each other, and some trouble must be
 taken to verify many of the names. In a letter from Magdalena Johanna
 de Wet, widow of Mr. Retief, to her brothers and sisters, dated at
 Pietermaritzburg on the 7th of July 1840, published in Mr. Preller’s
 work, she mentions the murder of her son Pieter Retief with his
 father, and also of Abraham Greyling, her son by a former marriage, at
 the same time.

 [106] For the particulars see my _History of South Africa since
 September 1795_, Volume II, pages 323 to 326.

 [107] The difficulty of giving a reliable account of all the details
 of this event is insurmountable, as it is impossible to reconcile
 the narratives of those who took part in it with each other. I give
 therefore only the leading features. Readers who may imagine that
 every incident should be obtained by thorough research are requested
 to consult the different statements given by Mr. Bird in his _Annals
 of Natal_, and to believe that others consulted by me long before the
 publication of that work are equally as conflicting.

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