The 1878 Voters list is is unmistakably the largest electronic database of male inhabitants of the Cape in the 19th Century. This database contains some 40 000 names as well as places of abode and in some major cities occupations are given as well.
By using this database you will be able to determine where you ancestors lived as well as indentifying other possible family members who reside in the vicinity.
Information covers the Western Cape including: Cape Town District, Green Point, Southern Suburbs, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Worcester, Malmesbury, Piquetberg, Namaqualand, Clanwilliam, Swellendam, Caledon, Riversdale, Oudsthoorn and George.
The Eastern Cape section covers Albany, Albert, Aliwal North, Beaufort, Colesburg, Craddock, East London, Fort Beaufort, Graaff-Reniet, Graham’s Town, King Williams Town, Port Elizabeth, Queen’s Town, Richmond, Somerset East, Uitenhage, Victoria West, Victoria East + Wodehouse.
More information can be read in our Learning Centre on Voting Information in South Africa 1853 – 1970
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Born on the 7th September 1857 in Graaff Reinet; died 11 February 1902 in Cape Town. Trader and amateur musician.Edward Nathan, father of Maurice, was a trader of German-Jewish extraction who emigrated to South Africa in 1850 and lived in Graaff Reinet, where he was married round about 1856. The family was very musical and probably the father personally supervised his children’s musical education. Maurice, Ellen and Johanna are often reported to have been the accompanists of the Choral Society, but Maurice had a marked talent and became prominent in the town’s music after 1881. From accompanist he advanced to become conductor of the Choral Society, accepted the training of a group of Christy Minstrels and in 1881 co-operated with the band leader James Saunders in creating a Musical and Literary Society of which he acted as the Honorary Secretary in 1883. He also opened a music shop in Caledon Street in February 1881, but after trading for only four months he sold it to J.L. Viner. After this activity in Graaff Reinet he started a Music Saloon and Musical Library in Port Elizabeth (October 1883). A characteristic of this venture was that it provided the public with the facilities of a lending library: at a subscription of R3 a year, sheet music could be borrowed for periods of 14 days. In 1885 he also relinquished the Saloon and then, apparently, left for Cape Town.
Woman of letters. London 24.6.1821 – Cairo 14.7.1869. Lucie’s father was John Austin, a distinguished lawyer. She received little formal education until the age of fifteen, when she attended a boarding school at Clapham. However, she visited France and Germany with her parents and was fluent in both languages. She also knew a little Italian, Latin and Greek.On 16 May 1840 she married Sir Alexander Cornewall Duff Gordon (1811-72). She began translating German and French works, the best known translation being Mary Schweidler, The Amber Witch (1844), from Maria Schweidler, die Bernstein Hex (1843) by Wilhelm Meinhold. Her acquaintances at this period included George Meredith, Charles Dickens, W. M. Thackeray, A. W. Kinglake and Tennyson. In 1854 in Paris she paid her last visits before he died to Heinrich Heine, whom she had befriended as a young girl.
By 1860 she was ill with consumption, and in September of that year reached Cape Town in an effort to regain her health. She lived very economically in Cape Town in a boarding-house with only one maid to attend to her needs. At the end of 1861 she made a tour of Simon’s Bay, Caledon, Genadendal and Worcester. Her Letters From the Cape (1862-63), published in 1865, are interesting for the description of the local inhabitants, particularly the Coloured people. She made an intensive study of the Malay people, even visiting mosques during services. She relates how she met the last surviving Hottentot at Genadendal.
Most of her stay of 1 ½ years was spent at Caledon. She returned to England ill the late summer of 1862, but ill-health compelled her to leave again, this time for Egypt. Her Letters from Egypt 1863-65 (1865) and Last letters from Egypt (1875) became more famous than the Letters to the Cape. Her works reveal the warm humanity and gentle humour with which Lady Duff Gordon regarded her fellow-beings.
Source: Standard Encylopeadia of South Africa
The town of Hermanus was founded in 1855 and first named Hermanuspietersfontein after Hermanus Pieters, who came from the Netherlands and grazed and watered his sheep at a freshwater spring where the town now stands. He also taught at various farms in the Caledon district. In 1904, when the town obtained municipal status, the name was shortened to Hermanus.
Fishing, as an occupation, goes back to the founding ofthe town, but it did not assume commercial importance until much later. Inadequate transport and the dangerous nature of the landing-place retarded the growth of the local fishing industry. A new harbour was built, which gives greater safety and has better equipment, and with improved communications Hermanus developed as a commercial fishing centre. The abundance of perlemoen (abalone) in the waters gave rise to a canning factory, almost the entire out-put of which is being exported, mainly to the East. Trawling, especially for soles off the sandy bottom cast of Danger Point, has proved a profitable business, and a fishery providing cold storage has been established to handle trawled fish.
Hermanus has long been justly famous as an anglers’ paradise and one of the finest fishing resorts in the world. Its popularity as a holiday resort is largely due to the variety and profusion of fish to be found there. In the season there may be as many as 10 000 visitors, for whom numerous hotels cater. The town has a modern, picturesque golf-course, and other sporting facilities include bowls, tennis, badminton, cricket, rugby, football and yachting.
It is celebrated for the beauty of its many wild flowers and its picturesque coastline, extending to East Cliff and Mossel River, which have been absorbed in Hermanus. Sir William Hoy, the first general manager of the South African Railways, retired to Hermanus and was largely responsible for the advancement of the town. He was buried there on the top of Hoy’s Koppie.
A magnetic observatory was built near the town. Water is obtained from a rockfill dam, which yields 2,7m litres daily, and boreholes which are capable of yielding 2m litres daily. Electricity is supplied by Escom. Newspaper: Hermanus News: weekly, bilingual, was merged in a new weekly, The Times of Hermanus, in May 1971.
District. Area 735 sq km. Formerly part of Caledon, it was proclaimed a separate magisterial district on 21 Aug. 1964. It is noted for its variety of heaths, proteas and gladioli.
Hermanus, C.P. Town. Principal town of the magisterial district of Hermanus, division of Caledon. It is a famous seaside resort and fishing centre on the northern shore of Walker Bay, 120 km by road south-east of Cape Town. A direct luxury bus service to Cape Town via Bot River (32 km), one of the first in South Africa, was established in 1912. 34° 25′ S., 19° 14′ E.; rainfall 625 mm. Population (1970): White 2 631; Coloured 1 536; Asiatic 1; Bantu 777.
Source: SESA (Standard Encyclopedia of Southern Africa)
The first White baby was born at the Cape to the wife of the sick-comforter Willem Barentz Wijlant on 6 June 1652. At the time an epidemic of a serious type of dysentery affected many of the available helpers, but of the three women who were not ill, the wife of Adriaen de Jager, the first senior surgeon at the Cape, probably would have assisted at the delivery. Such married women with experience in deliveries were the midwives of the day, and it is recorded that the gates of the Fort were opened at 4am on 4 September 1660 to admit the midwife and other women to assist the wife of Abraham Gabbema at the birth of her son. That it was customary for Europeans to have help at the time of childbirth is clear from the surprise of Van Riebeeck at a delivery near the Fort of a Hottentot woman ‘without assistance from man or woman’. She cleaned the child herself, rubbed it all over with cow-dung and put it to her breast.
This contrast between the European and the indigenous population continued with little change for more than two centuries, except that the Dutch East India Company always endeavoured to provide sworn midwives in Cape Town and that, during the second British occupation, in 1807, further control regarding competency of midwives was instituted. The same was done for doctors and apothecaries. That this control was necessary is clear from the fact that there was at that time no sworn midwife in Cape Town and ‘any Hottentot woman, free woman of colour, and even slaves, presuming to act as midwives’, might do so. This led to ‘extensive evils and frequent misfortunes’.
In 1810 Dr. J. H. Wehr, a qualified man interested in obstetrics, was appointed colonial instructor in midwifery. At his instigation the Midwifery School was established by the Earl of Caledon, this being the first professional school of any kind in South Africa. Seven pupils qualified in 1813, having been well trained both from the scientific aspect and regarding the moral and social significance of the work of the midwife. The custom was then, as in many places still today, that the midwife should manage normal confinements and call in a doctor at any complication.
First Caesarean section
On 25 July 1826 obstetrical history was made at the Cape in what is said to be the fourth such case reported in the world, when Dr. James Barry was called in to see a Mrs. Thomas Munnik, who was in distressed labour. He performed a Caesarean section on her in her home (and there were no general anaesthetics in those days.) Both she and her baby son survived. The grateful parents named their son James Barry Munnik, a name well remembered, because James Barry Munnik Hertzog, who became Prime Minister of South Africa, acquired it from his godfather, James Barry Munnik.
During the Great Trek the ‘ouvrouens’ (old wives) played the same role in midwifery as they had done in the country districts of the Cape. Of particular interest is the part played by the wife of Pieter Uys on their trek. On the well-known day when the sympathetic English-speaking settlers of Grahamstown presented old Jacobus Uys with a Bible, this young woman was given much valuable advice by Dr. John Atherstone on how to cope with problems in childbirth. Being impressed by her courage, he also gave her a considerable quantity of medicines.
Registration of midwives
It would appear that South Africa was to a certain extent spared some of the bitter friction between doctors and midwives in the handling of obstetrical cases. In Europe, at the beginning of the 16th century, doctors were still rigidly excluded from the birth chamber. During that century, however, Ambroise Paré, a great French surgeon, and William Chamberlen (both Huguenots), who devised the obstetric forceps, made major contributions to the practice of obstetrics, which brought the doctor into this field. This, however, rather accentuated the friction, which lasted until about the end of the 19th century. The small number of doctors and midwives was probably one reason for the lack of obvious friction in South Africa, and at the time when the matter might have come to a head the country was blessed with nurses and doctors possessing such insight that South Africa became the first country in the world to introduce State registration of midwives (1891).
The prime mover seems to have been the great Sister Henrietta Stockdale of Kimberley, who interviewed Dr. W. G. Atherstone, chairman of the Cape select committee on medical reform, insisting that ‘this country needs properly trained and qualified midwives, intelligent women who are able to lay the foundation for a healthy nation’. All the medical men in the Legislative Assembly gave this part of the Bill their unanimous support.
Wise men and women in the medical and nursing professions have assured progress in the field of obstetrics, so that today there is teamwork instead of friction. This is shown not only in the sphere of practical medicine, but also by the fact that there is representation of nurses on the South African Medical and Dental Council and of doctors on the South African Nursing Council.
School of midwives
The foundress of modern midwifery education in South Africa was Mary Hirst Watkins, who trained under Sister Stockdale, Sister Catherine Booth and the local doctors at Kimberley. She established the school for midwives there in 1893. Her work was well known not only in South Africa but also in England, where she was offered an appointment in 1905. The letter reached Kimberley on the day she died.
First beds for midwifery
The first beds were set aside for midwifery cases in Albany Hospital, Grahamstown, in 1858. The Provincial Hospital, Port Elizabeth, admitted their first ‘accouchement case’ in 1865. Because these cases were complicated deliveries, the authorities found it necessary in the course of time to provide beds for emergency midwifery cases of an abnormal nature. This arbitrary division between normal and abnormal cases (the normal for a long time apparently being no concern of the authorities) has been responsible for many deaths of mothers. In addition, the division of responsibility in South Africa between the central government and the provincial administrations has proved a most unfortunate one, more so in obstetrics than other fields of medicine, as at first the provinces were given the responsibility for abnormal obstetrics only. As a result there has been much delay in providing for ‘normal’ cases, which may become seriously abnormal in a matter of minutes.
The centres in which maternity hospitals have been established have mainly been the centres where medical schools are situated, as this is essential for the training of medical students and midwives (and from a later stage the nurses completing an integrated general nursing and midwifery course). The best-known of these are the Peninsula Maternity Home in Cape Town and the Queen Victoria Maternity Hospital in Johannesburg. In Pretoria the old Moedersbond Hospital was taken over by the Province and is now part of the H. F. Verwoerd Hospital complex. At Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town a large maternity block was added in 1961. In other centres obstetrics is dealt with as a section of a general hospital, not infrequently as a separate block.
The first non-White obstetrical case given hospital treatment in South Africa was admitted to Grey Hospital, King William’s Town, in 1872. The previously disadvantaged now also receive top obstetrical care at large maternity sections at hospitals, such as King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban and Chris Hani – Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg, where many thousands of deliveries are done each year.
Source: Standard Encylopeadia of South Africa
The history of the Churches in South Africa – especially the Dutch Reformed Church – is so closely interwoven with the general history of the Cape since the days when Johan van Riebeeck first planted the flag of the United Netherlands on the shore of Table Bay, that the two might be said to be identical in scope.
The Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa began with a small congregation of servants of the East India Company, who assembled in a hall of the small fort.
When Van Riebeeck arrived here he brought no regularly ordained clergyman, but with him was one Willem Barents Wylant,” a Ziekentrooster,” which literally means a “comforter of the sick,” who conducted services on a Sunday in the great hall of the old fort.
When ships called, the chaplains conducted service during their stay, and usually administered the sacraments. The first who is recorded to have acted in this capacity was the Rev. Mr. Backerius, chaplain of the Walvisch.
In 1678, a site was granted for a new church at the lower end of the great garden, and the foundation stone was laid by Governor Van der Stel on 28th December, 1700; but it was not until 1704 that the building was finished, which is now the Adderley Street Church. The first service was held therein on the 6th of January, 1704, the Rev. Petrus Kalden being the preacher. The Church was enlarged in 1779 and again in 1836. The eastern wall and the tower still standing were portions of the original building. The Church contains a fine specimen of wood-carving by Anthon Anreith, and in the aisles are some stones bearing inscriptions relating to the early pioneers who were buried there.
Dutch Reformed Churches
Others are at:
Main Road, Three Anchor Bay
Arthur’s Road, Sea Point
Van Kamp Street, Camps Bay
Aberdeen Street, Woodstock
Collingwood Road, Observatory
Central Square, Pinelands
St. Andrew’s, Rondebosch
Albert Road, Wynberg
Tokai Road, Retreat
Main Road, Kalk Bay
St. George’s Street, Simonstown
Toronga Road, Lansdowne
Voortrekker Road, Maitland
Forridon Street, Brooklyn
During the English occupation of the Cape from 1795 to 1803, the Dutch Reformed Church, in accordance with the terms of the capitulation to the English arms, was known as the Established Church. The only Anglican Church services were conducted in the Castle by the military chaplains, and the con-sent of the Governor, as Ordinary, was necessary to marriages and baptisms. When the Colony was handed over to the Batavian Republic in 1893, and the English officials and troops were withdrawn, certain restrictions were placed upon the exercise of religious liberty.
Though services were conducted at the Castle by the chaplains regularly from the date of the second occupation, the arrival of the Rev. D. Griffiths in 1806, as Garrison Chaplain, was followed by great activity and energy on the part of the Anglicans.
Mr. Griffiths’ successor was the Rev. Robert Jones, during whose incumbency the use of the Dutch Reformed Church was granted for the celebration of the English services. The Dutch Reformed Church continued to be used for the Anglican service till the opening of St. George’s in 1834. The first English Church erected in South Africa was St. George’s at Simonstown.
The building of St. George’s Cathedral was not the work of a few days. Several projects were adopted, and abandoned owing to lack of funds. It was not till the visit in 1827 of Bishop James of Calcutta, in whose See the Cape was situated, that the Cathedral site was consecrated. The laying of the foundation stone was, however, delayed for three years after that date, when the Governor, Sir Lowry Cole, performed the ceremony with masonic honours, all the clergy taking part in the proceedings being Freemasons.
The new Cathedral of St. George, designed by Mr. Herbert Baker, is a dignified and inspiring building of Table Mountain sandstone but is only partially completed. The memorial stone in the buttress adjoining the Government Avenue was laid by H.M. King George V., when, as the Duke of Cornwall and York, he visited Capetown in 1901.
There is the Memorial Chapel adjoining which was erected as a memorial to the officers and men of the Imperial Forces who gave their lives in the South African War. A Roll of Honour emblazoned on vellum and bearing the names of all those who gave their lives in this campaign is enshrined within this Chapel and may be inspected upon application to the Very Rev. the Dean of Cape town. Adjoining the Cathedral are the buildings of the St. George’s Grammar School where the boys of the choir are trained and educated.
A list of Anglican Churches:
St. Mark’s Church, Bamford Avenue, Athlone
Church of the Transfiguration, Coronation Av., Bellville
St. Peter’s Church, Park Avenue, Camps Bay
St. Saviour’s Church, Main. Road, Claremont
Christ Church, Constantia Nek Road, Constantia
All Saints Church, Church Street, Durbanville
St. Margaret’s Church, cr. Fifth Avenue and Kommetjie Road, Fish Hoek
St. Alban’s Church, Alice Street, Goodwood
St. Alban’s Church, Cheviot Place, Green Point
St. Peter’s Church, Main Road, Hout Bay
St. Philip’s Church, Chapel Street, Cape Town
Holy Trinity Church, Main Road, Kalk Bay
St. Aidan’s Church, St. Aidan’s Road, Lansdowne
St. Anne’s Church, cr. Suffolk Street and Coronation Road, Maitland
Church of the Good Shepherd, Main Road, Maitland
St. Oswald’s Church, Jansen Road, Milnerton
St. Nicholas’ Church, Elsies River Road, Matroosfontein
All Saints Church, Main Road, Muizenberg
St. Peter’s Church, Durban Road, Mowbray
St. Andrew’s Church, Kildare Road, Newlands
St. Michael’s Church, St. Michael’s Road, Observatory
St. Margaret’s Church, Hopkins Street, Parow
St. John’s Church, Frankfort Street, Parow
St. Stephen’s Church, Central Square, Pinelands
All Saints Church, Tiverton Road, Plumstead
St. Cyprian’s Church, Station Road, Retreat
St. Paul ‘s Church, Main Road, Rondebosch
St. Thomas Church, Camp Ground Road, Rondebosch
St. Luke’s Church, Lower Main Road, Salt River
St. James’ Church, St. James’ Road, Sea Point
Church of the Holy Redeemer, Kloof Road, Sea Point
St. Frances’ Church, Main Road, Simonstown
St. Bartholomew’s Church, Queen’s Road, Woodstock
St. Mary’s Church, Station Road, Woodstock
Church of Christ the King, Milner Road Extension, Claremont
Christ Church, Summerly Road, Kenilworth
St. John’s Church, Waterloo Green, Wynberg
The history of the Roman Catholic Church in South Africa dates back to 1486, when Bartholomew Diaz erected a cross at Angra Pequena, and later on, in the same voyage, another which gave its name to Santa Cruz in Algoa Bay. Passing over many years and many interesting incidents, one reads of a call made at the Cape in 1685 by six Jesuits who were on their way to Siam, and who were sent thither for scientific purposes by Louis XIV. On their arrival they were kindly received by Governor Van der Stel, who granted them an observatory in the shape of a pavilion in the Gardens. Here in the course of their astronomical investigations they observed an eclipse of Jupiter’s moons; but in addition to scientific pursuits they visited many of their co-religionists who were sick, though they were not permitted to say Mass. In fact, it was not till 1805 that that privilege was granted to priests by Commissioner-General De Mist.
The Roman Catholic Church passed through various vicissitudes before its members were in a position to worship in their Cathedral, which stands on an elevated situation in Roeland Street, at the top of Plein Street. It was during the Episcopate of Bishop Griffiths that the Cathedral was begun, and he lived long enough to see it completed and opened for divine worship in 1857.
The Catholic Cathedral (St. Mary’s) faces Stalplein
Holy Cross, 36, Nile Street, Cape Town
Sacred Heart, 32, Somerset Road, Cape Town
St. Mary of the Angels, Lawrence Road, Athlone, Cape Flats
St. Vincent de Paul, Weltevreden Street, Bellville
St. Ignatius, Wade Road, Claremont
St. Joseph, 30, Anderson Street, Goodwood
The Most Holy Redeemer, Heathfield
Church of Our Lady Help of Christians, Lansdowne
St. John, 202, Coronation Road, Maitland
Holy Trinity Church, Matroosfontein, Cape Flats
St. Patrick, Langton Road, Mowbray
St. Francis Xavier, Pinelands
The Holy Name, Station Road, Observatory
St. Joseph, Philippi
St. Mary, Retreat
St. Michael, Rouwkoop Road, Rondebosch
St. James, St. James
St. Francis of Assisi, Coleridge Road, Salt River
Our Lady of Good Hope, St. Andrew’s Road, Sea Point
SS. Simon and Jude, St. George’s Street, Simonstown
St. Peter, Gordon’s Bay Road, Strand
St. Agnes, Dublin Street, Woodstock
Corpus Christi, Wittebome
St. Dominic, Wynberg
St. Anthony, Hout Bay
The history of the Congregational Church in South Africa dates back to the year 1800, when the first settlement was established in Cape Town under the Reverend Mr. Reid, of the London Missionary Society. The Rev. Dr. Philip with whose name the establishment of the Congregational Church in Cape Colony is intimately associated, arrived at the Cape in the year 1819, and the first Independent church was definitely formed under his pastorate in the year 1820, principally for the congregationalists in the English Garrison stationed in Cape Town. The first Union Chapel was erected in Church Square in 1828, which was followed by the erection of the Caledon Square Church in 1859. This church however has been recently closed owing to the removal of the congregation to the suburbs of Cape Town, and the Congregational services are now carried on in the Union Church, Kloof Street. Congregational churches are established at Sea Point, Observatory Road, Claremont and Rondebosch.
Congregational Churches are at:
Main and Franklin Roads, Claremont
Wrensch Road, Observatory
Belmont Road, Rondebosch
Marais Road, Sea Point
Clarence Road, Wynberg
Lot, Harrington Street
Another building worthy of a visit of inspection is St. Andrew’s Church on the Somerset Road, the foundation stone of which was laid in 1827, and the first service held there on May 24th, 1829. The services on that occasion were remarkable as bearing evidence of the extreme liberality and charitable feelings of the members of the Dutch Reformed Church to the Presbyterian cause.
“A deputation from the consistory of the Dutch Reformed Church attended divine service, bringing a letter of Christian sympathy and a contribution of £75 for the building fund.”
Since then St. Andrew’s has been, as it were, the Cathedral of Presbyterianism in the Cape. The building is regarded as one of the purest specimens of architecture in the city.
Other Presbyterian Churches are at Gardens and Rosebank, as well as:
Upper Orange Street
Main Road, Kenilworth
Clyde Street, Woodstock
Cor. Main and Bisset Roads, Wynberg
Albert Road, Mowbray
Central Square, Pinelands
Lower Station Road, Maitland.
The Baptist Church is situated in Wale Street, between Long and Burg Streets, having been erected in 1882 at a cost of 5,000, including site. The congregation have established a Mission Hall in Jarvis Street, off Somerset Road, and have erected a Mission Station at Mpotula, near Bolotwa in Kaffraria, where three missionaries are supported by the Cape Town Church.
Baptist Churches are at:
Wale Street – 9
Dane Street, Observatory
High Level Road, Three Anchor Bay
Grove Avenue, Claremont
Maynard Road, Wynberg
Another ecclesiastical edifice worthy of a visit is the Metropolitan Wesleyan Church at the corner of Burg and Longmarket Streets. The foundation stone of that handsome structure was laid on May 6th, 1875, by the Governor, Sir Henry Barkly.
Services had been carried on prior to that in the old Burg Street Church, now known as the Metropolitan Hall, which served as the central church for the Methodists from 1822.
There are also Wesleyan churches at Sea Point and various parts of the Southern Suburbs.
The best-known Wesleyan Church is the Metropolitan facing Greenmarket Square.
Others are to be found at :
The Jewish Synagogue in Government Avenue is also worthy the attention of visitors. It is situated near Avenue Street. It seats about 1,500 persons. Its exterior has a very bold effect towards the Avenue, with two towers and saucer dome over the centre of the main area.
The Synagogue of the New Hebrew Congregation is situated in Roeland Street, and there are other synagogues at Muizenberg, Claremont and Wynberg.
Synagogues include the Great Synagogue at Hatfield Street, (facing the Avenue), also:
Wynberg – recently closed down
Jewish Reform Congregation Synagogue ( Temple Israel ), Portswood Road, Green Point.
The Lutheran Church in Strand Street enjoys a unique situation on the hill commanding a fine view of the city. It dates back to the-year 1780, and the first certified “predikant” was the Rev. Andreas Kohler, who arrived at the Cape in November, 1780. Its architectural design is both simple and severely strict.
Its pulpit is another good example of the skill of the wood carver, and the old specification and agreement with the carver Anthon Anreith, are preserved in the vestry of the Church. The organ loft is the work of the same artist. The old Dutch alms dishes of brass which stand in the vestibule are beautiful specimens of the brass-worker’s art, and the quaint Dutch silver-ware used for the communion service will be of considerable interest to lovers of early eighteenth century work.
The clock and belfry of this Church may be seen by visitors who care to climb the curious circular staircase in one of the buttresses.
St. Stephens Strand Street, Cape Town.
German Lutheran (St. Martin’s Church), Long Street, Cape Town.
Also at : Albert Road, Wynberg – Philippi, Cape Flats.
Church of Christ, Scientist
The First Church of Christ, Scientist, is in Grey’s Pass facing the S.A. College School cricket ground.
The Church of England in South Africa
This must not be confused with the Church of the Province of South Africa ) has its own places of worship, namely, at:
Holy Trinity Church, Harrington Street
Holy Trinity Hall, Vriende Street, Gardens.
St. Stephen’s Church, Belvedere Road, Claremont.
First Church of Christ, Scientist, corner of Orange Street and Grey’s Pass, Cape Town
Second Church of Christ, Scientist, 15, Main Road, Newlands
First Church of Christ, Scientist, Muizenberg; Albertyn Road, False Bay
Southern Life Buildings-15, Main Road, Newlands
Masonic Building, Main Road, Muizenberg.
Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter Day Saints (Mormons)
South African Headquarters : Cumorah, Main Road, Mowbray
Seventh Day Adventist Church
56, Roeland Street, Cape Town
Carr Hill, Wynberg
Grove Avenue, Claremont
York Street, Woodstock
Cape Town Psychic Club, 203, Parliament Chambers, Parliament Street.
Society of Friends Meeting House (Quakers)
7, Green Street, Cape Town.
Room 816, 8th Floor, Groote Kerk Building, Adderley Street. Phone 2-9098.
Enquiries: Mrs. Mitford Barberton. Phone 4-2542.
(Free Protestant), Hout Street, Cape Town.
If you know of any other churches that may have been left out – please let us know and email us here
Image Source: National Archives Cape Town
Image Captions (from top): It was not until 1677 that land was set aside for the building of a church which was completed in 1703 and consecrated on 6th January 1704. Services were previously held in the Castle. The only remaining part of the original church is the steeple
The First Wesleyan Mission House Cape Town. Until a new church was completed in 1822 the Methodists held their services in a hayloft and later in an unoccupied wine store in Barrack Street. The church was open by Dr. Philip of the London Missionary Society. It is hidden behind the Mission House shown here.
The Lutheran Church, Sexton’s House and Pastorie in Strand Street.
St. Stephens Kerk, die eerste teatergebou in Suidelike Afrika wat in 1799 op Boerenplein (later bekend as Hottentotplein-die huidige Riebeeckplein), Kaapstad, gebou is. Die gebou is 1838 gekoop deur ds. G. E. Stegmann v.d. Lutherse Kerk wat sedert 1830 godsdiensonderrig aan slawe in een v.d. kelders gegee het. Hy het dit in ‘n kerk omgeskep en dit St. Stephens-na die eerste Christenmartelaar wat gestenig is-genoem omdat persone wat teen die opvoeding van slawe was, die gebou met klippe bestook het. Stegmann, bygestaan deur eerw. Adamson v.d. Presbiteriaanse Kerk, het dit as ‘n onafhanklike kerk bestuur tot 1857, toe die Kaapse Sinode v.d. N.G. Kerk op sy versoek dit oorgeneem het. St. Stephens is geen sendingkerk nie, maar die enigste N.G. Kerk vir Kleurlinge wat tot die Moederkerk behoort. Die gebou waaraan uitgebreide herstelwerk uitgevoer is, is in 1966 tot historiese gedenkwaardigheid verklaar.
The origins of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa are to be found in Cape Town and in the Baviaans River valley in the Eastern Province. In 1806 a Scottish regiment, the 93rd Southern Fencibles, was posted to the Cape of Good Hope. No chaplains were appointed to regiments at that time, and on their own initiative the men founded a Calvinist Society. In 1812 George Thom, a Scottish Presbyterian minister, arrived at the Cape, and from that society formed a congregation, mainly Presbyterian, although members of other denominations were enrolled. Thom was called to be minister of the Dutch Reformed Church at Caledon, and the congregation which he had formed was left without a minister. In 1818 Dr. John Philip of the London Missionary Society arrived and consented to minister to the congregation. Under his ministry the congregation ceased to be Presbyterian, and no services distinctively Presbyterian were held for four years. Representations were made to the Governor on the forlorn condition of the Presbyterian community, and as a result funds were raised voluntarily, a grant was secured from the Government, and the foundation-stone of the present St. Andrew’s Church in Cape Town was laid in 1827. James Adamson was the first minister, and the church was officially opened in 1829.
Meanwhile the 1810 Settlers had arrived at Algoa Bay and a Scottish company trekked to the Baviaans River valley, where, under the leadership of Thomas Pringle, services were held from the first Sunday of their arrival. A place of worship was erected at Glen Lynden in 1828, and John Pears was called as the first minister. Later on this church was taken over by the Ned. Geref. Kerk. The building still stands and has been proclaimed a historical monument.
From these beginnings the Church expanded as the country developed. Isolated Presbyterian communities sprang up wherever towns or settlements were established, e.g. at Grahamstown, King William’s Town, Queenstown, Port Elizabeth and East London. A similar development took place in Natal (mainly at Durban and Pietermaritzburg) and in the Orange Free State (at Harrismith, Bloemfontein, Bethlehem and other centres). After the discovery of diamonds and gold, congregations were formed at Kimberley and on the Witwatersrand. The Rev. Dr. James Gray of Harrismith conducted the first Presbyterian service in Johannesburg in 1887, in an unfinished building which was to become the Heights Hotel, Doornfontein. This led to the formation of the congregation of St. George’s in 1888, followed by those of Fordsburg, Jeppe, Germiston, Boksburg, Pretoria and Klerksdorp, in 1890. At Bulawayo a congregation was established during the Matabele rebellion. The movement spread in Rhodesia to Salisbury, Livingstone, Gwelo and Umtali.
In view of the growing number of Presbyterian congregations, steps were taken in 1892, through a federal council, toward the establishment of a South African Presbyterian Church. Four presbyteries, those of Cape Town, Kaffraria, Natal and Transvaal, together with the congregation at Port Elizabeth (not then attached to any presbytery), declared their willingness to become constituent parts of a united church, on a basis adopted at a meeting of the above named Federal Council held at King William’s Town in July 1896. As a result, the first general assembly of the united church was held in Durban (17-22 September 1897) under the moderatorship of Dr. John Smith of Pietermaritzburg. In 1898 the recently established congregation at Bulawayo passed a unanimous resolution attaching their congregation to the Presbyterian Church of South Africa. In 1903 the Moderator, James Gray (afterwards Dr. Gray) opened the newly erected church and then went to Salisbury to found a congregation there. As at Bulawayo, the charge at Salisbury, and later the charges at Gwelo, Livingstone and Umtali, attached themselves to the Presbyterian Church of South Africa. In the course of time the Presbyterian Church has expanded, keeping pace with economic development in the countries north and south of the Limpopo, and the vast area from the Cape to the Copperbelt is now ministered to. In 1959 the name was changed to the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa.
Missionary endeavour was an important feature of the Church’s work from the very beginning. St. Andrew’s Church in Cape Town had a missionary society, and still has, work in the early days being carried out among the slave population and the Bantu. In the Baviaans River valley Thomas Pringle held services for the native people. This missionary enterprise has been well maintained and today is carried on among the rural and urban Bantu and among the Coloured people and Indians. Educational work is carried out in Rhodesia in a large number of Church lower primary schools, in the secondary hoarding schools of Mondoro near Salisbury and David Livingstone near Bulawayo, and in an institution at Gloag Ranch, near Bulawayo, which includes an agricultural school.
Other aspects of Christian work have not been neglected. The General Assembly initiated an orphan society in 1905, and a children’s home was established at Queenstown. In King William’s Town a hostel for boys attending Dale College was set up in 1924. Theological students are trained through the divinity faculty at Rhodes University, Grahamstown, and there is therefore no need to recruit men from overseas, as was done for many years. A two-year post academic course of practical training for newly ordained ministers was instituted in Johannesburg in 1971. The Eventide Homes Committee make provision for the aged by endowing rooms and/or flatlets in existing homes for the aged.
The general assembly’s method of administering and maintaining all the Church’s various activities is through a number of standing committees, several of which now have full-time staff. These officials of the Church and their respective departments (church extension, education and training for the ministry, Christian education), together with the Church’s central office and book room, are situated in Johannesburg.
In 1972 the Church celebrated the 75th anniversary of its first general assembly, marking it by the establishment of the Presbyterian Educational Fund of R100 000 to provide bursaries for the education of needy children; by the holding of a national conference of celebration and study on the issues of Christian mission, ministry and renewal; and by the production of a history of the Church.
To Jan van Riebeeck goes the credit for having made the first attempt to provide services for the travelling public in South Africa. Barely two years after the establishment of the settlement at Table Bay, in 1654, he submitted for the consideration of Geraert Hulst, Director-General of the Dutch East India Company, whose ship Parel was lying in the bay, a request that he (Van Riebeeck) provide, for those visitors for whom facilities could not be furnished at the Fort, ‘a boardinghouse (ordinaris), the keeper to be supplied from the Company’s stores and gardens . . .’
Within another two years the Council of Policy, presided over by Van Riebeeck himself, approved a request from ‘the housewife Annetje de Boerin, wife of the Company’s gardener, Hendrick Boom, on account of her eight children, to take out the family income by opening an inn for the feeding and accommodation of men going and coming in passing ships’. The principal condition attached was that she must buy all her liquor from the Company’s own store – the first instance in South Africa of what is today called a ‘tied house’.
On 20 Sept. 1656 Annetje’s establishment met with its first competition when Jannetje Boddijs, of Doesburg, wife of the garrison sergeant, was permitted to open another tavern on similar terms. A fine was to be imposed on any member of the community who, during his working hours, indulged in ‘debauches’. From that date the liquor trade has played a major part in the South African hotel industry.
On a visit to the Cape in Oct. 1657, the Commissioner Rijckloff van Goens sr. confirmed the grant of an innkeeper’s licence to Sergeant Jan van Harwarden, to whom was allocated ‘part of an old sheepfold’ at the Fort as accommodation for travellers. From then on, the number of inns increased, most of them being of a primitive type. Among them may be mentioned De Gouden Anker, De Witte Swaen, De Laatste Penning.
As a rule the lodgers were sailors or soldiers whose demands were modest and who expected shelter for a few slivers a night. Drunkenness and violence were so frequent that the more law-abiding and prosperous strangers, unwilling to use these facilities, usually found lodging in private homes. Not only were the standards higher there, but a steady increase in the demand frequently led to the conversion of such homes into boardinghouses. Describing conditions during the 17305, O. F. Mentzel wrote: ‘Board and lodging can be obtained at these small hostelries for 34 slivers a day; wine is extra, unless it is supplied as part of the meal . . . What has been said above of humble townsmen applies even more forcibly to prominent wealthy burghers, at whose houses captains, superior officers and distinguished visitors sojourn temporarily. The charges and consequently the profits are higher, but the methods are very much the same. At these fashionable houses, board and lodging costs one rix-dollar per diem, with the style of accommodation and the quality of the table of a high standard. Here again extras make the bill mount up.
‘Bernardin de Saint-Pierre, the famous French novelist, visiting the Cape in 1768, describes the efforts of rival hosts to secure lodgers from passing ships by sending representatives in boats out into the roadstead. Few records survive of these early hostelries, but we know that the Abbe De la Caille patronised a boarding-house in Strand Street, the site of which is today marked by a memorial tablet. Captain James Cook, the explorer, when he visited the Cape in yes, procured quarters for himself and members of his staff with one Brand, at the rate of half-a-crown a day, ‘for which we were provided with victuals, drink and lodging’.
Hotels in the modern sense made their appearance at the Cape soon after the first British occupation in 1795, the earliest being the Old Thatched Tavern, facing Greenmarket Square, which, despite the disappearance of the original straw roof early in the 19th century, survived, at any rate in name, until 1970. The oldest existing hotel in South Africa seems to be the Houw Hoek Inn in the Houhoek Pass (between Sir Lowry’s Pass and Caledon), which, according to tradition, was founded about 1834.
Very well known in those days in Cape Town was the London Hotel in Hour Street, as well as Morison’s.
Hotel at No. 6 Keizersgracht (now Darling Street), established about 1800 by a Scot of that name. William Wilberforce Bird, in his ‘Notes on the Cape of Good Hope’, described his stay at Morison’s in 1820: ‘We are moderately comfortable, and at a somewhat reduced cost. The charge is six rix-dollars a day, including all expenses. The house is upon the plan of an English boarding-house. A public breakfast at nine; luncheon or tiffin, as it is called, after the Indian fashion (a most essential meal, consisting of meats hot and cold, fruits, wine, etc.) at one; dinner at half-past six. This method is usual at the Cape.
‘Standards of comfort were raised with the opening in 1821 of the St. George’s Hotel at the foot of St. George’s Street, which lasted until the end of the century. Countless others followed, notably Poole’s Hotel in New Street (now Queen Victoria Street), particularly frequented by officials and parliamentarians; Widdow’s Masonic Hotel in Grave Street (now Parliament Street), the resort of Freemasons; and a number of others in the suburbs, notably the Vineyard (on the site of the present Vineyard Hotel in Newlands) and Rathfelder’s, on the way to Constantia. Several early hostelries even gave their names to suburbs, for instance, Drie Koppen, forerunner of Mowbray. Farmer Peck’s Inn at Muizenberg, opened in 1825, was one of the first seaside hotels. Renamed the Grand during the Second Anglo-Boer War, it survived into the 20th century. This had, of course, no connection with the Grand Hotel in Cape Town.
Improved amenities were to be noticed in Cape hotels during the course of the 19th century, especially after the introduction of railways had given a stimulus to travel. In 1893 the Union Steamship Company led the way by opening its own hotel in Cape Town the Grand in Strand Street repeatedly rebuilt and finally demolished in 1973. The establishment of the Grand Hotel led, six years later, to an even more ambitious undertaking by the Castle Steamship Company, headed by Sir Donald Currie, who established a first-rate hotel on the Mount Nelson estate in the Gardens. Designed by English architects and managed at first by a Swiss expert, Emil Cathrein, the Mount Nelson from the outset attracted an exclusive clientele and during the Second AngloBoer War was the unofficial headquarters of the British army and harboured prosperous refugees from the Witwatersrand (hence its nickname ‘The Helots’ Rest’).
Development of hotels in other parts of the country proceeded more slowly, but as early as 1808 there was already an inn beside the warm baths at Caledon. The arrival of the 1820 Settlers gave an impetus to English names and to such customs as the ‘ordinary’ (defined as a fixed-price meal in a public eatinghouse) in the Eastern Province. Among the earliest hotels in Port Elizabeth was the still existing Phoenix, dating back to 1840, while in Grahamstown the Cheshire Cheese (the hotel no longer exists) and similar names reminded the emigrants of the ‘Old Country”
The Boer tradition of private hospitality inhibited the development of hotels in the republics and, although by degrees this factor receded, for a long time both Durban and Pietermaritzburg were in advance of Bloemfontein, Potchefstroom and Pretoria in this respect. The Plough Hotel was one of the earliest in the Natal capital, while, in honour of Prince Alfred, Durban’s leading hostelry was, in 1860, named the Royal, an appellation which persists with great frequency elsewhere.Wayside hotels throughout South Africa were notoriously bad, primitive in their facilities and usually constructed of corrugated iron. Their condition became even more noticeable after the discovery of diamonds, and strangers arriving in Kimberley were frequently offered nothing but canvas. None the less, some of the earlier hotel-keepers there, such as Mrs. Jardine, acquired a reputation for good service and good food. Rough-and-ready were the conditions at early mining centres like Pilgrim’s Rest, Barberton and Johannesburg. In 1886, within a few months of the founding of Johannesburg, the Central Hotel opened in Commissioner Street. It was one of the first brick structures on the gold-fields. Height’s Hotel, one of the leading establishments on the Witwatersrand, dated from 1887, but was demolished some eighty years later. Another early Johannesburg hotel, the Great Britain, in the suburb named City and Suburban, was erected in 1888 and demolished in the 1960s.Barnato and Rhodes helped to produce a revolution in hotel-keeping standards – the former by starting the enterprise which developed into the Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg, the latter by causing De Beers to put up a fine hotel on the outskirts of Kimberley and the Chartered Company to sponsor the Grand Hotel at Bulawayo. Equipped in 1906 by the famous London firm of blaring & Gillow at a cost of £750 000, the Carlton’s 200 rooms set an entirely new standard. In Durban, too, there were radical changes, following the opening, about 1880, of the original Beach Hotel, forerunner of the array that today lines the Marine Parade. Here the construction of the Hotel Edward in 1909 further improved the situation, helping to attract the investment of large sums in modern buildings.Hotel development proceeded more slowly in Bloemfontein, where the first hostelries included the Vrystaat Hotel in the 1860′s.
At Pretoria, too, the first hostelries were almost rural in their simplicity, notably L. Taylor’s Edinburgh Hotel in the seventies. Polley’s, originally the Transvaal Hotel, was for many years the premier rendezvous in the Transvaal capital. A still existing early hotel there is the Residentie. Mention must also be made of individual enterprise in unusual places, such as the Hotel Milner, opened by J. D. Logan at Matjiesfontein in the 1880′s, which became a resort popular with many eminent travellers.
After a lapse of generations, the place underwent rejuvenation in the 1970s.In 1882 Anders Ohlsson took over the brewery of the Chevalier Jacob Letterstedt in Newlands, Cape Town; this he modernised and greatly expanded. Ever since his time large South African breweries and liquor firms have been active in the hotel-keeping field, more especially through financial support of lessees; this was the system of ‘tied houses’. Chains of hotels have been relatively few in South Africa until comparatively recent times. Here a milestone was the founding, about 11930, of African Amalgamated Hotels Ltd., owners of leading establishments in Johannesburg and coastal cities.Attempts to improve the standards of hotel-keeping by official action go back to the beginning of the present century, but no practical steps were taken for many years. In 1936 Prof A. J. Norval, of Pretoria, prepared an authoritative survey of the situation in South Africa, published in London under the title. The tourist industry – a national and international survey. This helped to stimulate interest, but not until 1945 was the South African Tourist Corporation established, and only in 1965 was compulsory inspection and classification of hotels introduced. This is now universally enforced, being indicated by grading with varying numbers of stars (up to five) by the Hotels Board. Largely because of this, the rising numbers of well-to-do tourists, and the general influx of capital, even from the United States of America, there has been a sudden upsurge of hotel-building throughout the country. This is still in progress and in it many large companies are involved.
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PIKETBERG (Piquetberg), C.P. Town. Principal town of the Piketberg district. The town was laid out at the foot of the Piquet Berg in 1835 on the Government farm Grootfontein, which was granted free for this purpose by Sir Benjamin D’Urban. The first sale of plots took place in 1842-43, while a Dutch Reformed parish had been instituted in 1833. A magistracy was established in 1848, a village management board in 1901, and a municipality on 6 Jan. 1906. Water is obtained from the Berg River.
Local business entrepreneur Jankel Braister built the fist electrical power station originally for his bottling plant in 1932 and soon produced more electricty than he imagined. Eventually he was supplying other businesses and residents until 1955 when Eskom took over the electricity supply at De Hoek
The name Piketberg is derived from the old Dutch word ‘piker’ or ‘piquet’ (from the French) in the sense of a military guard post (English: picket). During the governorship of Isbrand Goske (1672-76), when the colonists were involved in a war with the Hottentots under Gonnema, a platoon or a picket of soldiers was stationed on the mountain.
District. Area 4545 sq km. Formerly part of Malmesbury, it was proclaimed a separate district in 11857, extending from the Atlantic Ocean to the Olifants River Mountains. The principal rivers are the Berg, Verlorenvlei, Kruis, Platkloof and Matjies. Towns and villages, besides Piketberg, are Porterville, Aurora, Redelinghuys, Eendekuil, Her Kruis, Halfmanshof and, on the coast, Velddrif, Laaiplek and Elands Bay. The waters along the coast abound in fish and the flourishing fishing industry has led to the rapid development of the twin towns of Velddrif and Laaiplek at the month of the Great Berg River. Velddrif has a factory where the bulk of the rock-lobster catch is frozen and packed for export, while Laaiplek has one of the largest and most modern factories along the west coast for the canning of mackerel and pilchards and for the manufacture of fish-meal and fish-oil. Except for the Sandveld, between the coast and the Piketberg Range, the soil is loamy and very suitable for mixed farming, mainly with wheat and sheep. At the time of the agricultural census of 1965/6 the district was the third largest producer of wheat in South Africa (after Malmesbury and Caledon), with 35 207 short tons per annum. At the same time the district had a total of 272 944 sheep. Some wine is also produced. The Sandveld is rich in wild flowers and the annual spring wild-flower show at Porterville is well known. On the Piketberg Plateau, also called the Versfeldberg, apples, peaches and oranges of high quality are produced for export. In former times the plateau and Rietvlei farms near Aurora were renowned for their roll-tobacco. The Verlorevlei is a strange wide stretch of water in its lower reaches frequented by waterfowl and almost choked with reeds in places; at its estuary the fishing village of Elands Bay is situated, which is to be developed as a holiday resort.
There is a cement factory at De Hoek and a cheese factory at Eendekuil. At Wittewater, near the railway station of Moravia on the line to Namaqualand, there is a mission of the Moravian Church. In a cave on the farm Sandhoogte, near Redelinghuys, Bushman paintings, highly prized by experts, have been discovered. The district has good communications. The railway was extended from Malmesbury to Piketberg in 1902, and thence to Bitterfontein in 1927. There is a daily luxury bus service between Piketberg and Cape Town.
Acknowledgement: Standard Enyclopedia of South Africa by Nasou Via Afrika
St. Stephen’s Church, Cape Town, Cape Province. This church in Cape Town is the only Dutch Reformed church named after a saint; and its congregation is the only Coloured congregation that forms part of the Ned. Geref. Kerk (the mother church), with full admission to its synod, while all other Coloured parishes of the N.G. Kerk belong to the daughter or mission church. The rectangular edifice was erected during the First British Occupation and is the oldest theatre building in South Africa, having been erected for that purpose by the Governor, Sir George Yonge, on what is now Riebeek Square, where it was opened on 17th November 1800. Thus it is the only church building that was formerly a theatre. Under the Batavian regime the theatre was called the Afrikaansche Schouwburg, but to the populace it was simply known as the Komediehuis. The basement was and still is used for workshops, storage and similar purposes. The building, repeatedly menaced with demolition, was proclaimed a historical monument in 1965.
In connection with the emancipation of the slaves a service for freed slaves was held in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on 1st December 1838 by Dr. James Adamson, together with the Rev. G. W. Stegmann of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. These services, in which the two ministers took turns, continued, and the next year the theatre building was purchased for £3484 for adaptation as a church for ex-slaves and as a school for Coloured children. It is believed that it received the name of the first Christian martyr as a result of stoning by persons opposed to its establishment as a church for ex-slaves. It was consecrated on 30th April 1843. Under Stegmann a Sunday-school and regular Sunday services were held. He resigned from the Lutheran Church in 1847 and from that date to 1853 also held services in St. Stephen’s for 150 Lutheran dissidents until their new church was available in Long Street (the present German church). The Coloured congregation of St. Stephen’s continued under Stegmann and in 1857 agreed to incorporation with the Dutch Reformed Church, their clergyman being legitimated as a minister of that Church. Stegmann, however, two years afterwards proceeded to the D.R. parish of Glen Lynden, where he remained until his death in 1890.
In response to many requests, directed to St. Stephen’s by freed slaves in other parts for some religious instruction, an organisation called De Apostolische Unie was established by that church, which ordained five missionaries and sent them to Caledon, Clanwilliam, Pniel, Wellington and Malmesbury, as well as two evangelists to Beaufort West and the Cape Flats.
For a long time the membership of St. Stephen’s consisted of both Whites and Coloured people, but eventually of Coloured people only. In 1972 the number of adherents was approx. 1000. Bibliography: J. Hoge: `Geskiedenis van die Lutherse Kerk aan die Kaap’, Archives Year Book for S.A. History, Vol 2, 1938; St. Stephen’s Ned. Geref. gemeente: Gedenkprogram, 1857-1957.