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Baltus van Santen, Log books

  • ZA HPRA A94
  • Archief
  • 1718-1724

'Dagh register gehouden door Baltus van Santen', 1718-1724.

Log-books written in Dutch into a vellum bound volume by Captain van Santen, in the service of the Dutch East India Co., giving an account of the voyages in the ships under his command. The 'Bevenwijk' sailed from Batavia to Gamron, Persia, Cochin-China, Ceylon and back to Batavia from 1718-1719; the 'Prattenburg' sailed from Batavia via the Cape of Good Hope to Holland during the years 1720-1721; the 'Meijnde' from Texel to Batavia via the Cape 1722-1723; and the ''T Huijs ter boede' from Batavia to Siam 1723-1724. Included is a list of 92 Company ships which were lost by storm or enemy action 1684-1722.

Abbe Nicolas Louis De La Caille, Notebook

  • ZA HPRA A892
  • Archief
  • 1746 - 1754

The notebook contains observations made by De la Caille at the Cape and elsewhere; a list of expenses in connection with his observatory at St. Martin (Paris); and details of the mathematical basis for his calculations, including lists of formulae and trigonometrical proofs, used as an aide-memoire during his travels. There are calculations of some star coordinates, apparently made at the Cape, and, most important of all, a calculation of the difference in latitude between the Cape and Klipfontein for his determination of an arc of the meridian.

Nicolas Louis de la Caille

Sir Robert Harland

  • ZA HPRA A30
  • Archief
  • 1771 - 1775

British Admiral

'Letters to Captains etc. 30th January 1771 to 6th May 1775'. Letter-book containing copies of letters signed by R.H. (Sir Robert Harland) who was Commander-in-Chief of H.M. Ships and Vessels in the East Indies. The letters are written from Fort St. George, Bombay and the Cape of Good Hope, being addressed to the Navy Board, Board of Ordnance, Philip Stephens (Admiralty), Josiah du Pre (President of Fort St. George), W. Hastings (Governor of Bengal), W. Hornby (President of Bombay), P.A. van der Para (President and Governor of the Dutch settlement in the East Indies), A. Wynch (President of Fort St George) and others. Subjects are provisions, appointments, treatment of the sick and deserters and disposition of ships in the squadron.

Includes a diary kept from 13 Oct-14 Nov.1774 at the Cape when his ship, the Northumberland, stopped for refreshment and repairs.

JBND Apres De Mannevillette

  • ZA HPRA A4
  • Archief
  • 1773

Hydrographer, traveller and Captain in the Compagnie des Indes

'Efterretninger om seilatsen fra Frankerig til Indien' 1773. 147p. Ms vol.
A translation into Danish by Barthole Johan Lodde of the original pilot's guide, Memoire sur la navigation de France aux Indes, Paris 1765.
At the back of the leather-bound volume is a log-book (pp45-84) in Danish covering 30 July to 4 Oct.1786 and navigational notes, including a comment on Robben Island.


  • ZA HPRA A142
  • Archief
  • 1773 - 1841

The scrap-book contains broadsides pertaining to the theatre and one of a scurrilous nature; press clippings of poetry, anecdotes, cartoon and news events of the day such as the death of George III in 1820 and Napoleon in 1840; coats of arms and manuscript lists of jurymen for the county of Norfolk (UK). The name Hambleton Custance (High Sheriff for Norfolk) appears on some of the press clippings and he may have been the compiler of the scrap-book.

Dr Samuel Evans, Papers

  • ZA HPRA A619
  • Archief
  • 1777

The papers of Samuel Evans consist of 3 boxes of correspondence, notes, memoranda and printed items illustrating his activities in Egypt and in South Africa, particularly with reference to mining, banking and communications.

Including printed items, memoranda, notes, press clippings and correspondence relating primarily to mining and economic development, the "Stands" scandal of 1892, the Dynamite Monopoly and the National Bank of South Africa. The 2 vols contain printed items and reports on petroleum deposits in Egypt. Correspondents: T.W. Beckett, F.C. Bourne, H. Eckstein, J. Eloff, Sir J.P. Fitzpatrick, H. Jennings, C.H.B. Leonard, W. Leyds, E. Lippert, Sir E. Vincent and Wernher, Beit & Co.

Evans, Dr Samuel

Earl George Macartney Papers

  • ZA HPRA A88
  • Archief
  • 1779 - 1803

The earliest papers are dated 1779, when Macartney was Governor of the Cariboo Islands, and describe the British surrender to the French during the American War of Independence. Thereafter, the papers relate to the first British Occupation of the Cape of Good Hope and, in particular, to the years 1797-1798 when Macartney was Governor. There are also papers relating to the administration of Sir James Henry Craig, who captured the Cape on 14 September 1795, and was in command until Macartney arrived in 1797.

All aspects of administration at the Cape are touched upon: - shortages of grain, specie (NB: money in the form of coins rather than notes) and timber; the duties of the Burgher Senators (the new name for the old Commissioners of the Court of Justice under the Dutch East India Company); slavery and the importation of slaves; the disaffection of the Dutch population; the indigenous tribes and the need to 'separate' them from the colonists; trade regulations for the Cape and the East India Company's monopoly of trade to and from the East; fiscal arrangements; the question of the debts due to the Dutch East India Company at the time of the capture in 1795 and whether they are to be regarded as prize booty for the captors of the Cape or are to be taken over by His Majesty's government in London. Of particular interest are the reports sent back by Macartney's private secretary, John Barrow, who had been sent on an expedition to investigate supplies of timber, flax and hemp, the existence of mineral deposits, the navigability of certain bays and trading with the "Caffres".

The papers also relate to the Napoleonic Wars and to the Cape's strategic position. There is much about the war at sea, which necessitated the introduction of a convoy system for shipping, and about the military and naval forces at the Cape, including plans for projected attacks on Batavia and Spanish America from the Cape. Many items relate to the naval mutiny at Simon's Town in 1797.

Amongst the British correspondents is the Court of Directors of the East India Company, the Privy Council., Henry Dundas, Secretary of State for War, and William Huskisson, Under-Secretary for War. At the Cape Macartney corresponded with Admirals Pringle and Christian, Major-General Duncan, Commander of the troops, Secretary Andrew Barnard, Under-Secretaries John Barrow and Acheson Maxwell, Deputy Secretary Hercules Ross, Commissary-General John Pringle, the landdrost at Graaff Reinet, Frans Reinhard Dresler, and others.

There in one additional intrusive item (No.594) about the Cape Observatory, dated 1837 and written by Sir John Barrow, who had been closely associated with Macartney at the Cape.

Macartney, Earl George

Papers of Fairbairn family

  • ZA HPRA A663
  • Archief
  • 1781 - 1917

Draft - Press release for Fairbairn Papers.

The papers cover the years 1781-1917 and relate to four generations of the Fairbairn family. There are personal documents and correspondence of John Fairbairn, who arrived in South Africa in 1823. He became involved in the prevailing fight for the freedom of the press being waged against Lord Charles Somerset. He edited and later became sole owner of the South African Commercial Advertiser, an early Cape newspaper, which advocated reform. He became a national figure, was elected to Legislative Council and served as chairman of the South African Mutual Life Assurance Society, of which he was a founder.

John Fairbairn's wife, Eliza, was a daughter of Dr. John Philip, missionary and champion of the rights of the native peoples of South Africa. There are papers belonging to the Philip family in this collection. These assist in providing information lost with the destruction of the Philip papers in the fire at the Library of the University of the Witwatersrand in 1931. Eliza Fairbairn's correspondence, although primarily personal, gives the woman's point of view of life at the Cape in the twenties and thirties of last century. There is an interesting scrapbook, presented to her by her father, which contains the letters and autographs of eminent men such as Lafayette, Lord Macaulay, Sir Walter Scott and William Wilberforce.

Other items of particular interest are a collection of photographs of hospitals used during the South African War of 1899-1902, from the papers of John Fairbairn, grandson of John Fairbairn, who was Hon. Secretary of the Red Cross Society in South Africa. There are also the drafts of five sonnets by Thomas Pringle, South Africa's first poet to write in English, in his own handwriting and with emendations.

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