Simon van der Stel Timeline

14 October 1639:  Simon van der Stel is born to parents Adrian van der Stel and Maria Leviens aboard le Cappel on route to Mauritius.

25 May 1646: His father, Adrian van der Stel dies in the line of duty and the family moves to Batavia.

1659: Maria Leviens remarries and Simon van der Stel moves to Holland.

1663: Simon van der Stel marries Johanna Jacoba Six, the couple have six children.

12 October 1679: Van der Stel arrives at the Cape, accompanied by his four sons and sister in-law Cornelia Six. He soon takes up post of VOC Commander of the Cape.

Van der Stel authorises expansion beyond the skirts of Table Mountain. The boundaries of the colony are spread to include the Stellenbosch, Drakenstein, Paarl, Franschoek, Tygerberg and Wagenmakers Vallei areas.

3 May 1680: The family are initially accommodated in the old Governor’s house before relocating to quarters at the Castle in May.

16 July 1685: VOC commissioner Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede grants Van der Stel title deeds to a farm that Van der Stel names ‘Constantia’.

In August, Van der Stel launches his first expedition to Namaqualand in search of the region’s rumoured copper potential.

1687: Van der Stel declares new land available for Freeburgher settlement in the Upper Berg River Valley.

Van der Stel surveys False Bay and re-names the area then known as Yzelstein’s Bay to Simon’s Bay, after himself.

1688: The first group of French Huguenots arrive at the Cape.

14 December 1691: The VOC replaces the office of ‘Commander’ with ‘Governor’ and Van der Stel becomes the first official Governor of the Cape. Van der Stel moves into his newly-completed manor house at Groote Constantia.

1693: Van der Stel authorises attack on Khoikhoi Captain Dorha and his kraal after the group refused to supply the Company with livestock. Captain Dorha was captured by the soldiers, many of his followers killed and all of his livestock stolen.

11 February 1699: Simon van der Stel resigns and is succeeded by his son, Willem Adriaan van der Stel.

24 June 1712: Van der Stel falls ill and dies at the age of 73. He is buried in the Groote Kerk, Cape Town. 

Last updated : 10-Nov-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 10-Nov-2017