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Armoria familia

The baronets Stockenström

by Mike Oettle

Landdrost Anders / Landdrost Andries / Commissioner-General / Lieutenant-Governor / 1st baronet / Parliament
Sir Gijsbert / Mr Justice Andries / 3rd baronet / Sir Anders

IF your surname is Stockenström, you might have looked up the name in Cor Pama’s Groot Afrikaanse Familienaamboek [1]and been confronted with the illustration shown here.

The logical assumption is that this coat of arms is one you may use. But on two counts it is not:

Firstly, the arms were granted by the College of Arms in 1912. English grants are to a particular individual only, and to his descendants in the male line – not to an entire family.

Secondly, it is unlikely that the arms existed before the grant, as is sometimes the case.
arms of Sir Andries Stockenström, third baronet, and Sir Anders Stockenström, fourth baronet

The family in question is of Swedish origin, and Swedish law is rigid in limiting the usage of coat-armour to titled members of the nobility only (barons and upwards); ordinary mortals do not qualify.

There is no indication that the founder of the South African family, Anders Stockenström, was a nobleman.

First let’s look at the arms themselves, and then at the family with which they are connected.

The arms may be blazoned:


Arms: Per fess argent and or a fess wavy azure between a sword and branch of laurel in saltire proper, passing through the ring of an astronomical character of Mars sable in chief, and in base the stump of a tree, one branch sprouting from the dexter side thereof, issuing from water proper.

Mantling: Azure and argent.

Crest: In front of a like stump of tree two swords in saltire, points upwards proper.

Motto: Fortissi jure ortis.

The blazon is quoted from Pama’s earlier book, Heraldry of South African Families,[2] and is strange, since it quotes a blazon emanating from the College of Arms, yet does not seem to follow the style then used by the College, in which colours and charges are written with capital letters, and punctuation is almost entirely eliminated.

Also, it gives the wording of the motto, which is something ordinarily ignored in blazons from the College (even if the motto is included in the illustration on the deed of grant).

The stump, with its green sprout, is a pun on the first half of the surname, while the wavy fess puns on the second (ström), which means stream.

The Mars symbol and the swords are most likely allusions to the times in which the first Andries Stockenström (*06-07-1792 †15-03-1864) and his father, Anders Stockenström (*06-01-1757 †29-12-1811), lived, during which they had to lead the burghers of Graaff-Reinet in war more than once. Andries was also a commissioned officer in the Cape Regiment, and later a colonel.

The symbol for the planet Mars is also associated with the pagan Roman god of the same name. As it appears here, it is the same as that used to indicate the male gender, being a circle with an arrow pointing diagonally to the sinister. However, dictionaries of symbols indicate that the proper Mars symbol has the arrow pointing upwards.

The laurel branch alludes to the efforts of both Anders and Andries to bring about peace on the eastern frontier. Andries was known for his peacemaking efforts as landdrost, as Commissioner-General and as Lieutenant-Governor.

These arms were granted to Sir Andries Stockenström, 3rd Baronet (*22-09-1868 †01-12-1922), grandson of the Lieutenant-Governor, who was created baronet in 1840.
the red hand of Ulster, badge of a baronet of the United Kingdom

Yet another oddity in the arms as blazoned and illustrated is the entire omission of the red hand of Ulster, the badge of baronets of the United Kingdom,[3] which ought to have been part of the grant. One is left to presume that Pama left it out in order to render the device as a “familiewapen”[4] – that is, a coat of arms that anyone of the name may bear.

Instead, it is restricted to the descendants of Sir Andries – the third baronet, not his father, Mr Justice Andries Stockenström, nor his grandfather, Sir Andries, the first baronet Stockenström. The third baronet was succeeded by his son, Sir Anders, of whom Pama (in his 1972 book) notes: “The title became extinct after the death of his [Sir Andries’s] son Sir Anders Johan Booysen Stockenström, b. 1908, d. 1957 Marr 1937 Elsine Constance Burnett-Smith, d.o. Harold Burnett-Smith.”

Sir Anders had only one child, a daughter. Her descendants are entitled to quarter the Stockenström arms.

Other Stockenströms in South Africa are descended from younger sons of Landdrost Anders Stockenström, and have no claim on the baronetcy.

In answer to the question: “My name is Stockenström: what arms am I entitled to?” in strict English law there is no coat of arms you may bear.

But things might be viewed slightly differently in Pretoria. If a Stockenström or Stockenstroom (as the name appears to be spelt occasionally) applies to the State Herald to register arms based on, but sufficiently different from, the arms of the third baronet, it is possible that the application may succeed.


A famous family:
It is nonetheless worth looking into the antecedents of the two armigerous Stockenströms and finding their place in South Africa’s history.

Anders Stockenström:
Born at Filipstad in Värmland, Sweden, on 06-01-1757, Anders was the son of Anders Andersen Stockenström (*1707 †1764), inspector of mines and mayor of Filipstad, and Caterina Margarita Ekman (*1723).

In September 1781 Anders sailed from Texel as a quarter-gunner aboard a VOC ship, ’t Zeepaard.

Scurvy broke out in the fleet when it reached the Equator, and when it reached Table Bay in December ’82, 1 202 of the 2 753 people aboard the ships had died, and 915 were ill. Four of the most heavily armed ships, including ’t Zeepaard, sailed for Batavia, after a delay of four weeks, to assist in the war against the British.

It is not known whether Anders accompanied the fleet. Two years later he was an assistant in the negotie comptoir (goods office) in Cape Town, where he remained for some years. He also served as supercargo on a vessel carrying slaves for the VOC from Madagascar to the Cape, and was afterwards, until 1795 (when the British captured the Cape), bookkeeper to the fleet.

On 01-06-1786 he married Maria Geertruyda Broeders (baptised 11-03-1764), daughter of Peter Caspar Brodersen (or Broders), from Rantrum, a North Frisian town in Schleswig,[5] and Elsabe Cornelia Colijn. The couple had four sons and four daughters.

In March 1796 General J H Craig appointed Anders secretary to Landdrost A A Faure, of Swellendam.

Following the takeover of the Cape by the Batavian Republic, Anders was appointed landdrost of Graaff-Reinet by both Governor Jan Willem Janssens and Commissioner-General Jacob Abraham Uitenhage de Mist. The latter swore him in on 14-02-1804, at which stage Graaff-Reinet had been without a permanent landdrost since 1801.

His eight years as landdrost – under Batavian rule until 1806, and then under British rule – saw the district experiencing Bushman raids in the north and north-west, and an unsettled frontier with the amaXhosa. Public buildings also needed restoration following the Khoikhoi/Xhosa invasion of 1802-03 (the Third Frontier War).[6]

While commandos were sent against the Bushmen, Anders also tried to reconcile the Bushmen by having game shot for them, and periodically giving them cattle.

When action was eventually taken against the Xhosa in December 1811, Anders, in command of the burghers of Graaff-Reinet, occupied Bruintjieshoogte to protect the area north of the Zuurberg. The commandos of George, Uitenhage and Swellendam, together with the Cape Regiment, gathered at the Sundays River mouth and after Christmas, crossed the river to expel the Xhosa from the Addo bush.

On 27 December Col John Graham of Fintry sent orders to Stockenström to join the rest of the force at Coerney, where Col J G Cuyler (landdrost of Uitenhage) was in charge. Realising that this would leave the area north of the Zuurberg vulnerable to Xhosa attack, Anders went to discuss the matter with Graham.

He set out at sunset on 29-12-1811 with 24 men. About five hours later he encountered a number of Xhosa of the Imidange clan under Kasa on Doringnek, the watershed between the White and Coerney rivers, on the Zuurberg.

Relying on his popularity as the friend and benefactor of both colonists and indigenous peoples, Anders dismounted and went to meet the war party unarmed. He spent at least half an hour endeavouring to persuade Kasa to return to their country without bloodshed. But when he returned to mount his horse, the Imidange had surrounded his party and attacked, killing eight burghers and an interpreter. Four were wounded but managed to escape.

Andries Stockenström:
The eldest son of Anders Stockenström received an elementary education in Cape Town and in 1808 took up an appointment as clerk in his father’s office at Graaff-Reinet.

On his journey to Graaff-Reinet he met Lt-Col R Collins and was persuaded to accompany him as a Dutch interpreter on a journey that took them to the Orange River and into the Xhosa country.

Determined to follow a military career, Andries accompanied the expedition (burgher and army) which was sent in 1810 to inform Ndlambe,[7] the Rharhabe[8] paramount, of the government’s intention to expel him from the Zuurveld.[9]

Following this expedition he was in 1811 commissioned as an ensign in the Cape Regiment. In this capacity he took part in the 4th Frontier War of 1811-12, and in the campaign against Ndlambe.

When Anders Stockenström was murdered, Andries was his father’s aide-de-camp. When the news of the incident reached Bruintjieshoogte, Andries and 18 mounted burghers rode in haste to Doringnek. There they surprised a number of the killers, killed 13 and recovered eight horses.

Following the Doringnek incident Andries was appointed to his father’s position in command of the burgher forces.

Following Ndlambe’s expulsion he assisted Colonel John Graham in the selection of miltary sites for the protection of the Fish River frontier, after which Governor Sir John Cradock appointed him to the new position of assistant landdrost of Graaff-Reinet, stationed initially at Van Stadensdam on the (upper) Fish River, and afterwards at the newly founded town of Cradock.

Since his duties were mostly of a military nature, Andries kept his commission and was retired on full pay.

In 1813, commanding the burghers of his district, he took part in the campaign across the Fish against Xhosa tribes which had violated the new frontier. In May 1814 he became a lieutenant in the Cape Regiment. A H Duminy,[10] in the Dictionary of South African Biography,[11] writes:

“In May 1815 Lord Charles Somerset, on the recommendation of his predecessors the Earl of Caledon and Sir John Cradock, appointed S. landdrost of the district of Graaff-Reinet. Thus, at the age of twenty-two, he became the chief instrument of British policy in this vast frontier district whose inhabitants had scarcely experienced effective government, and which bordered on the Bushmen and Griquas to the north, and on the Bantu to the east. It was his responsibility not only to regulate relations between the colonists and the border tribes, but to implement the policies of the British authorities. These included, in particular, the substitution of perpetual quit-rent land tenure for the existing loan-place system; the provision of educational facitilies; and the extension of the protection law to the Hottentots[12] and other coloured inhabitants. The difficulties involved were demonstrated by the Slagtersnek rebellion, which occurred in November 1815 (shortly after S.’s appointment) when he helped significantly to dissuade the colonists from joining the projected rebellion and to bring the rebels to peace.

“In 1817 the ‘commando system’, which had operated on the frontier and which depended on the civil authority of the landdrost, who could authorize armed expeditions across the frontier to retake stolen stock, was replaced with the ‘reprisals system’. In terms of this new system, of which S. remained an outspoken critic, burgher patrols were to be accompanied by a military detachment and were entitled to demand compensation from the kraal to which the spoor of stolen cattle had been traced, whether or not the stolen stock was found there, leaving the Xhosa to find the guilty and claim their cattle back from them.”

1818 saw Landdrost Andries campaigning against Ndlambe and the amaGcaleka as an ally of Ngqika. The Graaff-Reinet burghers, under his command, defended the left flank at the Kat River.

Again in 1819 he took to the field when Ndlambe – who this time included among his army commanders the prophet Makanda, or Nxele – invaded the colony and attacked Grahamstown. The Graaff-Reinet burghers’ task was to meet any possible invasion in the north.

Col T Willshire then advanced against the Gcaleka with the Cape, Stellenbosch and Swellendam commandos, and the Graaff-Reinet commando was ordered to clear the Fish River bush – previously regarded as impenetrable. Stockenström’s reward for his role in this campaign was a promotion to captain in the Cape Regiment.

From this time Andries’s relationship with Governor Lord Charles Somerset deteriorated, perhaps because of his “outspoken criticism of Somerset’s frontier policy or to his refusal to allow the settlement of the 1820 Settlers in his district and his opposition to their location on the frontier”, Duminy suggests, but then points to a more likely cause: a quarrel with the Governor’s son, Col Henry Somerset. In addition, Andries was friendly with Acting Governor Sir Rufane Donkin, and since Grahamstown editor Robert Godlonton[13] was a consistent supporter of Col Somerset, this “meant that the remainder of his public career was characterized by personal and political feuds”.[14]

His military career was ended in July 1820 when he was transferred to the Corsican Rangers and placed on half-pay.

The Graaff-Reinet district’s contact with the frontier was diminished by the creation in 1821 of the separate district of Albany (out of Uitenhage) and in 1826 of the district of Somerset (later Somerset East, out of Graaff-Reinet). But Andries remained landdrost until the reform of 1828 which abolished that office.

Duminy writes:

“Throughout his administrative career S. accepted the broad principles of good government, but remained a fearless critic of many of the absurdities of policies framed in Cape Town or in London, and of the extravagant claims of the L.M.S.[15] Thus, on the north-eastern frontier, with which he was concerned as a landdrost, a commissioner-general and then as a lieutenant-governor, he would not prohibit the crossing of the frontier by colonists in times of drought, but urged that the frontier should be extended to prevent the encroachment of one race upon the territory of another. He supported the introduction of ordinance 50 of 1828, some of the provisions of which he had helped to formulate, but insisted that it should be accompanied by a law against vagrancy.”

In 1827 the Council of Advice was enlarged to include two unofficial[16] members, and in June that year Andries was appointed as one of these two.

On 08-12-1828 Andries married Elsabe Helena Maasdorp (1808-1889), daughter of Gijsbert Henry Maasdorp. The couple had six children, of whom the firstborn died as a baby.

Early in 1829 Major-General Richard Bourke, who had arrived in the colony in 1826 as Lieutenant-Governor of the Eastern Province, but instead became Acting Governor when Lord Charles Somerset departed, appointed Andries to the new post of Commissioner-General for the Eastern Province. Duminy comments:

“Although it was intended that he should be the senior civil authority in the east, his precise powers as commissioner-general were very loosely defined. There was confusion, particularly because his subordinates were still to correspond directly with the colonial secretary in Cape Town. S.’s precise relationship with the military was also ambigious because, although he was empowered to call out a burgher force, this was to be commanded by a military officer, should one be present. In view of the open enmity of Col. Henry Somerset, who continued to support the reprisals system (which had been suspended by Bourke in 1826) there was little likelihood of the commissioner-generalship proving a success.”

Despite these difficulties Andries attempted to effect a frontier settlement, and focused on settling a dense population in the Ceded Territory (between the Fish and Keiskamma rivers).

The Xhosa chief Maqoma had earlier in 1829 become regent of the amaRharhabe following the death of his father, Ngqika, and the succession of his infant half-brother Sandile. Andries proceeded to expel him from the strategic Kat River valley and settle it with Khoikhoi.

He also issued new regulations concerning the recovery of stolen stock. Provided the civil authorities gave permission, armed parties could cross the frontier and recover stolen stock (once located) by force, if necessary.

In 1830 Andries authorised an expedition against Tyali,[17] having been convinced that this Xhosa chief was openly guilty of theft. But this expedition resulted in the shooting of another chief, Zeko, which was controversial. Andries at first commended Field Commandant Erasmus for his conduct, but later investigation showed that whereas it had been reported that Zeko was armed and removing livestock, he had in fact been unarmed and was assisting the burghers by driving his cattle to Fort Willshire.

The outcome of this investigation was suspicion on Andries’s part of Col Somerset’s contention that further retaliatory expeditions were necessary. Matters came to a head in June 1831 when Somerset obtained permission from Cape Town to undertake an expedition, even though Andries objected to it.

Andries became progressively more critical of frontier policy, both in his reports from Graaff-Reinet and in the deliberations of the Council of Advice. After Lord Stanley, Secretary for the Colonies, had requested his resignation from the council, Andries left the colony early in 1833 and, while in London, resigned as Commissioner-General. When news reached him of the outbreak in December 1834 of the Sixth Frontier War, he decided to settle in Sweden.

In August 1835 he gave evidence to the House of Commons select committee on aborigines. His views, while critical of the philanthropists, impressed Lord Glenelg, the new Secretary for the Colonies, who appointed him Lieutenant-Governor of the Eastern Province.

This did not, however, make his task on the frontier any easier, since he still had no authority over the military, his subordinates were still free to correspond with Cape Town, and he had no more independence from the Governor than previously.

His tenure as Lieutenant-Governor was characterised by virulent and libellous campaigns against him, waged by Col Somerset, Godlonton and a variety of other interested parties, which served to nullify all the good he attempted to do in bringing peace to the frontier.

But even here things had been changed in his absence. Andries’s plans for settling the Ceded Territory had been abandoned. Governor Sir Benjamin d’Urban had nonetheless settled the Mfengu[18] in that area and opened it up for permanent white settlement. Duminy writes:

“S.’s system is usually described as the treaty system, but treaties were in fact a feature of most frontier systems. The distinguishing feature was rather the attempt to apply strict principles of international law to frontier relations. In accordance with these the crossing of the frontier by armed parties from either side was prohibited, and colonists who were able to prove that their stock had been stolen and taken across the frontier were obliged to rely on the chiefs to return it. It is possible that these provisions were at Glenelg’s insistence as they did not comply with S.’s earlier reliance on the commando system, although chiefs guilty of breaking the treaties which were signed in December 1836 could, of course, be dealt with on a war footing. Otherwise, S.’s regulations relating to the guarding of cattle and the immediate pursuit of stolen stock were identical to those which he had introduced after 1828.”

In February 1838 Andries brought a libel action against Captain Duncan Campbell, civil commissioner for Albany, over claims that he had murdered a Xhosa in 1813. The Supreme Court, however, found the evidence against Campbell inconclusive, and Andries requested the new Governor, Sir George Napier, to institute a full inquiry.

Andries was exonerated by the court of inquiry in June 1838, but nonetheless felt his position hopeless, and travelled to Britain to consult Glenelg. Glenelg refused to accept Andries’s resignation, but his successor, Lord Normanby, dismissed Andries anyway in August 1839.

As a reward for his service, Andries was created baronet a decade later in 1849, and given a pension of £700 a year.

Returning to the Cape in May 1840 he lived on his farm Klipkraal, in the Swaershoek Valley near Somerset East; in Uitenhage and in Cape Town. In 1845 he settled on his farm Maasström,[19] at the foot of the Kaga[20] Mountains, and stayed there until April 1846 when the Seventh Frontier War broke out.

The burghers refused to serve under a military commander, and Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland put Andries in command of the commandos, with the rank of colonel.

The burgher force first cleared the south-western part of the Eastern Province, up to the upper Fish River, and then advanced to Fort Beaufort, where it was intended that he would invade the Xhosa country. However, the military diverted him to the Amathole[21] mountains and then, having invaded the Xhosa country east of the Kei without him, attempted to discredit him by repudiating the agreement Andries had made with the Rharhabe parmount, Sarhili.[22]

Andries, his health ruined by this expedition (he remained in poor health the rest of his life), called on the British government to institute an inquiry into the war, maintaining that it had been prolonged needlessly.

But the new Governor, Sir Harry Smith, ostentatiously denounced the Stockenström treaty system as the cause of the war – in a meeting with the Xhosa chiefs he tore up a piece of paper and announced: “No more treaties” – and in other respects also angered Sir Andries, who warned that Smith’s policies would precipitate a crisis.

But Earl Grey, Secretary for the Colonies, declined to take action.

Sir Andries’s response was to back calls for representative government. When Smith called an election in 1850 (the only one of its kind) to get around the difficulty of finding suitable people to serve on the legislative council, he received the most votes cast for any candidate from the Eastern Province.

But the official members set out to discredit their claim to represent popular opinion, and Sir Andries and the other popularly elected members resigned in September.

In 1851 he and John Fairbairn travelled to Britain in the hope of persuading the government to introduce representative government. But as a result of his call for an inquiry into Governor Smith’s policies, Sir Andries was in turn made the scapegoat for their failure, and was additionally blamed for the Kat River rebellion during the Eighth Frontier War of 1850.

During his absence, his opponents destroyed Maasström in 1851.

Instead of a commission of inquiry, a select committee was appointed. Duminy writes that it “neither recommended an inquiry nor prepared a report”.

Representative government was nonetheless instituted in 1853, and Sir Andries was approached to run for election to Parliament for the Eastern Divisions. To meet the expenses of the campaign and of the destruction of his property, he arranged for the subdivision of a part of Maasström (one-third of the 4 985 morgen) as a township, which was named Bedford, after Sir Andries’s friend, the 8th Duke of Bedford.

Following a heated electoral campaign, Sir Andries defeated his old enemy, Godlonton – despite renewed publication of all the old accusations against him in the Graham’s Town Journal – by almost 2 000 votes.

As a member of the legislative council, Sir Andries piloted the passage of the Divisional Councils Act, which in his view restored a link between the government and the, governed which had been broken in 1828 (with the abolition of landdrosts). He also supported the passing of the Burgher Force Bill, which placed the commandos on an equal footing with the military.

In other respects, he was frustrated. The Khoikhoi settlement on the Kat River was broken up, and little was done to rein in frontier warmongers and land speculators.

Failing health saw him resign his seat in March 1856, and he left the colony the following month. He lived for a while in Nice, Naples and England, returned to the Cape in 1860, and again went to London in ’62, where he eventually died of the bronchitis that had plagued him for years. He was buried in Kensel Green cemetery, London.

Sir Gijsbert Henry Stockenström:
Sir Andries’s eldest surviving son (*1841 †1912) succeeded him as baronet and was a member of the Cape Legislative Council from 1891 to 1910.

His eldest sister married farmer and politician Charles William Hutton, who in 1887 edited Sir Andries’s autobiography in two volumes. The next sister married lawyer and administrator Sir Sidney Shippard.

Sir Gijsbert died without issue, and the title passed to to the offspring of his younger brother, also named Andries.

Mr Justice Andries Stockenström:
Born in Graaff-Reinet on 22-04-1844, the younger Andries received an education in law in England and Germany. He was called to the English Bar at the Middle Temple in 1865, and in 1866 was admitted as an advocate in Cape Town. He soon moved to Grahamstown, where he built up a large practice.

In 1875 he was named to act as a judge in the Griqualand West Land Court by High Commissioner Sir Henry Barkly. However, like his father, he was dogged by controversy, it being said that he was prejudiced against attorney David Arnot, agent for the Waterboer Griqua, and sympathetic towards Oranje Vrij Staat President Johannes Brand.

In a crucial finding, Andries ruled that the Griqua chiefs were tribal, not territorial, rulers. This resulted in the denial also of many titles issued by Nicolaas Waterboer, Cornelis Kok and others. It also validated the claims of the OVS to the dry diamond diggings, but President Brand waived his country’s rights in return for a payment of £90 000.

The furore that arose in the wake of the Land Court findings led Barkly’s successor, Sir Henry Bartle Frere, to support Andries’s plea for a full Royal Commission of Inquiry. Winifred Maxwell writes in the DSAB[23] (with reference to Andries):

“To his chagrin Britain refused on grounds of ‘Mr. Stockenström’s high reputation for the conscientious discharge of his official duties’. There was absolute confidence in his integrity.”

On 24-12-1867 Andries married Maria Henrietta Hartzenberg, of Graaff-Reinet. They had one son, Andries (*1868 †1922), who followed his father in a legal career and became third baronet in 1912.

Andries contested the Grahamstown parliamentary seat in 1876, but was not elected. He was appointed Attorney-General in ’77, and in ’78 succeeded in being elected MP for Albert (Burgersdorp). He was reappointed judge in ’79.

Although unwell, he undertook a circuit in 1880, but died on his 36th birthday.

Sir Andries Stockenström:
In 1912, following the death of Sir Gijsbert, the baronetcy passed to his nephew Andries (*1868), son of Mr Justice Andries Stockenström (*1844).

The second Sir Andries was an advocate of the Transvaal Supreme Court and a member of the Transvaal and Union parliaments. He died in 1922.

Sir Anders Stockenström:
The fourth baronet was Anders Johan Booysen Stockenström (*1908 †1957).

Duminy names his only child as Mrs Andrée Mabel Gardiner, owner of Maasström. She is also mentioned as owner of one of a number of extant portraits of the first baronet.

[1] Published by Human & Rousseau.

[2] A A Balkema, 1972.

[3] The title baronet is unique to the British Isles and the British Empire, and all baronets have the appropriate badge borne as an augmentation of honour in their arms. Other members of their families do not bear this badge, should they bear arms.

Baronets of the United Kingdom bear a canton or a small inescutcheon of the red hand of Ulster, while baronets of Nova Scotia bear as their badge a miniature (also as a canton or inescutcheon) of the arms of Nova Scotia. For an example of the arms of a baronet of the United Kingdom, see here, and for a baronet of Nova Scotia, see here.

The style of a baronet is “Sir ___”, as with a knight (the title originates from a misreading by King James I of England [James VI of Scotland] of the title of a certain class of mediæval knight, namely a knight banneret). The knight banneret took his designation from the fact that he bore, instead of a standard, a small banner (literally a banneret). The ceremony of creating a banneret in the field of battle involved cutting the tails off his standard.

But unlike a knight, a baronet is not formally invested with his title, and tapped on the shoulders with a sword. The title is formally created by means of letters patent.

[4] Pama and several earlier South African heraldists propagated the entirely false idea that a familiewapen, or family coat of arms, could be used by any and all of a given surname. To the extent that this privilege exists at all (and it is debatable in law) it is applicable only to a few South African families, all of which originate in the Holy Roman Empire.

[5] A duchy belonging to the Holy Roman Empire (and later to Germany), ruled as duke by the king of Denmark, and therefore both German and Danish, both politically and in population. It was seized in its entirety by German (Prussian and Austrian) forces in 1864 as part of the manoevring to build up Prussian supremacy in Germany, and in due course became part of the German Empire. In 1921, following a plebiscite, it was divided rougly on linguistic lines between Germany and Denmark.

Rantrum is today part of the German Land (state) of Schleswig-Holstein.

[6] The Frontier Wars, of which there were nine, were fought between the Xhosa and the Colony, with Khoikhoi playing a variety of roles on either side down the years, from the late 1700s to 1877-78.

They were traditionally referred to as the Kaffir Wars, because at the time the term Kaffir was applied particularly to the amaXhosa, but this word is no longer acceptable.

However, the “politically incorrect” usage did specifically identify the people with whom the colony clashed, which allowed one to distinguish this series of wars with the earlier frontier wars against the Khoikhoi (the First and Second Hottentot Wars, fought in the Western Cape before 1700) and against the Bushmen (four wars, the last of them fought in 1774).

Currently the politically correct term for the Frontier Wars is the Wars of Dispossession. However, dispossession was a characteristic of many colonial wars, not solely those between the Xhosa and the colony. Not all of these wars led to an enlargement of the colony, either. Lastly, the name obscures the fact that the aggression that led up to these wars was not solely on the part of the colonial authorities or the colonists.

[7] In colonial records, this chief’s name appears as Slambi or Slambie.

[8] The amaRharhabe formed the western branch of the Xhosa people, and lived mostly to the west of the Kei River. A few of them had briefly occupied land west of the Fish, but the majority were living to the east of that river.

[9] Later known as the Albany district.

[10] A H Duminy, MA, lecturer in history at the University of Natal.

[11] Dictionary of South African Biography, editors W J de Kock and D W Krüger (Cape Town: Tafelberg/Human Sciences Research Council).

[12] The proper term for the “Hottentot” people is Khoikhoi. This word, meaning “men of men” was used by the Khoikhoi to describe themselves and to distinguish themselves from their ethnic kin, the various Bushmen bands who lived as hunter-gatherers across the subcontinent.

[13] Godlonton edited the Graham’s Town Journal.

[14] DSAB, vol II, p 775.

[15] The London Missionary Society.

[16] By “unofficial” is meant not being a member of the Governor’s immediate coterie of officials.

[17] The name Tyali sounds a little like “Charlie”, and was on occasion recorded in this form.

[18] For information on the amaMfengu or Fingo, click here.

[19] Sir Rufane Donkin had granted this farm to Andries in 1820. It received its name, Maasström, following Andries’s marriage to Elsabe Maasdorp in 1828.

Maasström, situated alongside the town of Bedford, remains a family possession to this day.

[20] Unlike other names derived from the Khoikhoi language, in which the usual value of G is the guttural sound of Dutch and Afrikaans, this mountain range’s name is pronounced with a hard G.

[21] The colonial spelling of this mountain range is Amatola.

[22] This paramount’s name appears in colonial records as Kreli.

The correct pronunciation of Sarhili is with a guttural G (as in Dutch or Afrikaans) where the letters RH appear.

[23] DSAB, vol IV, p 620.

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  • Sources: illustration of Stockenström arms from Die Groot Afrikaanse Familienaamboek; hand illustration from Boutell’s Heraldry, revised by J P Brooke-Little (Frederick Warne & Co); colours adjusted using MS Picture It!

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    Comments, queries: Mike Oettle