|Birth*||Willem Teerling was born circa 1633 in England.1|
|Lovers*||Circa 1684 Willem Teerling and Lijsbeth Sanders were lovers de Caep de Goede Hoop.2|
|Lijsbeth Sanders b. b 2 Mar 1659, d. c 1743|
|Notes||Clara Herfst has widely been assumed to be the biological daughter of Jan Herfst but the events in the life of her mother Lijsbeth Sanders and in her own life make this highly unlikely. It is far more likely that her biological father was Willem Teerling and that Herfst was her step- or de facto adoptive father.|
Starting with the most recent key event in the timeline is the birth of Clara's daughter Johanna Potgieter before 3 May 1707 - the date on which she is baptised. Even given the very early age of motherhood for some women at the time (for example 14 years), Clara must have been born at least as early as May 1693, but probably even earlier.
On 6 April 1689 Lijsbeth confessed that she was four months pregnant with Teerling's child. She said she had become sexually involved with Teerling after he left the employ of Louis van Bengale. Two and a half months earlier she refused in court to marry Louis because of his abusive treatment including hitting her and threatening to kill her.
Teerling's child was due in September 1689, and this date fits a logical birth date for Clara who then would have been 17 when her daughter Johanna was born - a not unusual age for the birth of first children in that period.
I am of the view that Lijsbeth Sanders and Jan Herfst only became romantically involved around 1699/1700 after she was released from a three year term in a chain gang. Her only biological child with Herfst would then be Gerbregt with Clara becoming his de facto adopted or step-daughter.3
|Slave Emancipations||On 27 July 1683 Cabo de Boa Esperança Lijsbeth Sanders was emancipated by Louis van Bengale her owner and lover, who described her in his application as “mijn meijt genaemt Lijsbeth van Cabo”. Two of Lijsbeth's unnamed children were freed along with her. In return, Lijsbeth was required to loyally serve Louis for a further year.|
In my view the available evidence points to the two children being Elizabeth Louisz and Anna Louisz. However Mansell Upham cautions that Willem Teerling a possible son to Lijsbeth and her lover Willem Teerling could have been one of the children.4,5
- [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke Nageslag van Louis van Bengale en Lijsbeth van die Kaap", Kronos (Die Blanke nageslag . . .) 1 (1979): Of dit in die eerste plek Louis se optrede teenoor haar was, óf bloot daaruit voortgespruit het, is nie duidelik nie, maar Lijsbeth het 'n verhouding met die 56 jarige Willem Teerling gehad. Teerling wat in Engeland gebore is en 'n aantal jare in die Kompanjiesdiens was voordat hy 'n vryburger geword het, was vir 'n tyd lank die kneg en skaapwagter van Louis van Bengale. Hattingh cites court documents of 1689 in which Teerling is said to be 56 years old.. Hereinafter cited as "Die Blanke nageslag."
- [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke nageslag", Of dit in die eerste plek Louis se optrede teenoor haar was, óf bloot daaruit voortgespruit het, is nie duidelik nie, maar Lijsbeth het 'n verhouding met die 56 jarige Willem Teerling gehad. Teerling wat in Engeland gebore is en 'n aantal jare in die Kompanjiesdiens was voordat hy 'n vryburger geword het, was vir 'n tyd lank die kneg en skaapwagter van Louis van Bengale. [DR: Hattingh cites court documents of 1689 in which Teerling is said to be 56 years old.]
- [S658] Mansell Upham 'Made or Marred by Time - the Other Armozijn & two enslaved Arabian 'princesses' at the Cape of Good Hope (1656)', March 2012, Pp.49-50."
- [S658] Mansell Upham 'Made or Marred by Time' "p.48. Louis manumitted (27 July 1683) his slave Lijsbeth mijn meijt genaemt Lijsbeth van Cabo and her two children [Lijsbeth and Willem?] on condition that she serve him for one more year. A thorough search of the baptismal register reveals no other obvious child of Lijsbeth being baptized. Who was her 2nd child? He appears to have been the son named Willem fathered by Louis’s knecht Middlesex-born Englishman, William Teerling [Tarling?].
i CA: 1/STB 18/144 (Gemengde Notariele Aktes: Louis van Bengale, 27 July 1683)."
- [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke nageslag."
- [S654] Mansell Upham 'What can't be cured, must be endured … Cape of Good Hope - first marriages & baptisms (1652-1665)', January 2012, Willem Teerling junior baptized Cape 6 May 1685 Willem een kind van Armosys suster [Lijsbeth Sanders?] peeten Armosy en Jan Pasquael; dies 1713."
- [S544] E-mails from Mansell Upham (e-mail address) to Delia Robertson, 1 Aug 2010 (Personal Library, Email Upham).
- [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke nageslag", pg 9.