The story of Sybrand Mankadan

His father Jacobus, is considered one of the most important Friesian landscape painters of the Dutch Golden Age. He served as a government official from a young age and lived in Franeker where he served as mayor.

Sybrand studied theology but was not known for his piety. His love for drinking was only surpassed by his love for women. He had three marriages in Holland. We read that he was expelled from the ministry by a provincial synod in Friesland for “een langen treijn van menigvuldige dronkenschappen en andere grove misdrijven…” a long train of drunkenness and gross misdemeanors.

When Sybrand, appointed as a sick-comforter, took up his teaching duties in 1683 he soon provoked great annoyance and dissatisfaction among more sedate Stellenbosch burghers with his improper conduct of “a debauched and irregular lifestyle”, so much so that some parents refused to have their children taught by him.

The nature of his “other gross misdemeanors” in Friesland was to become apparent early in the next year: to the horror of the burghers, Maria Catharina van Swaanswijk, an orphan from Holland, moved in with him without the blessing of the church. Landdrost Mulder laid a complaint with Commander Simon van der Stel, with the result that they had to appear at the castle. They were summarily joined in civil wedlock by De Grevenbroek, the Secretary. Later he had a child with one of the slaves.

In the early days as the only graduate in Stellenbosch he was furthermore appointed as Secretary to the Council of Landdrost and Heemraden in 1686. He was a capable teacher and the question about him was more about his not so private life.

His wife Maria married again soon after his death in August 1695.

The story of Dr Jan Cats

Jan Cats was a medical practitioner in Stellenbosch. His surgery was in Dorp Street (on the corner what is today Dorp and Andringa Streets). The bookshop across the street was the mortuary. As the sick and injured passed away, at the dead of night, when nobody could be discouraged by seeing the doctor’s failures, the bodies would be carried across the street from his surgery to the mortuary.

The bookshop has two different kinds of windows (it can still be seen today), and one was specifically build to ensure the stretcher with body can be slid through. It is said, that even today some people walking by in the middle of the night can see books moving in the bookshop. Jan Cats is now a pub and restaurant and part of the Stellenbosch Hotel.

The story of Hercûles van Loon

It was in March 1700 that Stellenbosch got its first permanent pastor. He lived in the “Kolonieshuis”, the oldest house in town, on the corner of Dorp and Ryneveld Streets – which thus became the first parsonage in Stellenbosch. Some speculate that his wife was not the perfect minister’s wife and that she strayed from her marriage vows at times.

He was allotted a farm near Klapmuts shortly after his arrival and it was on his way from this farm back to the village that Valentyn wrote, “he met his death most pitiably” on June 26th, 1704. Kolbe provides more particulars of Van Loon’s tragic death, reporting that he committed suicide by “cutting his own throat with his pocket knife and that no one had yet discovered the cause of his profound despair”. We can only guess and speculate about that cause…

The story of Eva (Krotoa)

Eva (Krotoa) was born at the Cape, circa 1642 – died Cape Town, 29th July 1674. A female Hottentot interpreter, Eva was a member of the Goringhaikona (Strandlopers or Beach-combers), a Hottentot tribe which lived in the vicinity of Table Bay. The captain of this tribe, Herry, was her uncle, and her sister was the wife of Oedasoa, captain of the Cochoqua (Saldanhars).

Shortly after their arrival at the Cape, Jan van Riebeeck and his wife took Eva into their home. They gave her a Western education and instructed her in the Christian religion. She soon learnt to speak Dutch fluently, and, later on, was able to make herself understood in Portuguese. Although she did not receive official payment for this, she was used as an interpreter, especially between V.O.C. officials and Oedasoa, with whom she sometimes went to stay.

Van Riebeeck had a high opinion of her ability as an interpreter, although later he warned his successor not to accept everything she said without reservations.

On the 3rd May 1662, Eva was baptized in the church inside the Fort of Good Hope by a visiting minister, the Rev. Petrus Sibelius, with the secunde, Roelof de Man and the sick comforter, Pieter van der Stael, as witnesses. She was also the first Hottentot to marry according to Western customs.

On the 26th April 1664, and with the permission of the Council of Policy, she was married in a civil ceremony to the explorer, Pieter van Meerhoff, and she received a dowry of fifty rix-dollars from the V.O.C. On the 2nd June 1664 the marriage was also solemnized in church. Of the children born from this marriage three survived.

In May 1665 Van Meerhoff and his family left the Cape when he was sent to Robben Island as commander. In 1667 he was murdered during an expedition to Madagascar and on 30 September 1668 Eva returned to the Cape with her children, where the V.O.C. gave them the old pottery workshop as a home.

She lapsed into such a dissolute and immoral life, however, that the V.O.C. again sent her to Robben Island on 26th March 1669, and placed the three children in the care of the free burgher, Jan Reyniersz. Eva returned to the mainland on various occasions, but was always banished to the island.

In May 1673 she was allowed to have a child baptized on the mainland and, in spite of her outrageous way of living, was buried in the church inside the Castle on the day after her death.

In 1677 the free burgher, Bartholomeus Borns recieved permission from the Council of Policy to take two of Eva’s children, Pieternella (Petronella) and Salamon van Meerhoff, with him to Mauritius. There Pieternella van Meerhoff married Daniel Zaayman (from Vlissingen), and, on 26th January 1709, arrived with her husband at the Cape, where she became an ancestor of the Zaayman family in South Africa.

There were eight children born of this marriage, four sons and four daughters, of whom most (or all) were probably born on Mauritius.

The family has descended in the male line from the eldest son, Pieter Zaayman; two sons were baptized in Cape Town on 17 February 1709; two daughters were apparently married at the Cape (to Diodati and Bockelberg). A third daughter, Maria Zaayman, had already arrived at the Cape from Mauritius in 1708 with her husband, Hendrik Abraham de Vries, of Amsterdam (one of the four De Vries ancestors in South Africa) there being with her four children, of whom three boys were baptized simultaneously in Cape Town on 4 November 1708.

A fourth daughter, Eva Zaayman, date of birth unrecorded, was married (apparently at the Cape) first to Hubert Jansz van der Meyden, and later (20 September 1711) at Stellenbosch, to Johannes Smit of Delft. As far as is known no children resulted from these marriages.

– Source: SESA (Standard Encyclopedia of Southern Africa)

The story of Nico Theunissen

In 1888 Stellenbosch produced its first Springbok, namely, Nico Theunissen, a student of theology, who was a crack rugby player, athlete and cricketer, and who played for South Africa in the second test against the first MCC team to visit this country. He would also have played in the other test, but the professors of the Theological Seminary would not give permission as they wished to dissociate themselves from such trifling games. In the four matches against the MCC he took 34 wickets. At the conclusion of the tour the Union Steamship Company presented him with a gold watch for being the best bowler in South Africa.

It was the skill of Theunissen as a batsman that contributed to the fact that the Braak was placed out of bounds for all games. A resounding six by Theunissen smashed the window in Mr Bastiaan’s Chemist shop (the present Post Office) and the ball landed amongst the medicine bottles. The damages amounted to £3.15s. and from thenceforth, the municipality decided, rugby and cricket were not to be played on the Braak but were moved to the Flats.
Stellenbosch thus gained international renown in cricket before it did so in rugby.

– From Stellenbosch Three Centuries October 1979.

Teddy Hall Wines

Teddy purposely pushes boundaries while exploring new ways to evince the complex play of contrasts that define limits and frontiers in winemaking.