Bernert Willemsz Wilant1

M, #13847, b. 6 June 1652
Father*Willem Barentsz: Wilant1 b. c 1630

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Last Edited22/08/2015
Birth*Bernert Willemsz Wilant was born on 6 June 1652.2,1
BaptismBernert Willemsz Wilant was baptized on 20 August 1653 (Cape Town), de Caep de Goede Hoop.1 
Company JournalOn 17 August 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Sent the smack with the wood to Robben Island. The hunters report that the Capemen were hurriedly leaving, taking their course towards Saldanha Bay. They were followed by 20 others here, who daily fetched fuel for the cooks, but ran away as if they were hunted with fire and sword, throwing down their loads of wood. Only Herry and a few women and children remained. Herry had told them that he was angry with them and they must leave, as they would sell no cattle and only wished to fetch wood and fill their stomachs with rice, &c., which his own people could do very well without their assistance, &c. Whether they have treason on hand or are afraid of the Saldanhars expected here according to Herry, in large numbers in summer, it is difficult say. Have to be careful and send more men with the cattle, now numbering about 100. Herry calling us outside, showed us the road taken by the Capemen, which agrees with the report of the hunters. He again pointed to the mountains eastward, and said that beyond them there were many natives with much cattle, and that he was desirous of going thither in 5 or 6 days' time, requesting some copper to buy cattle for us, leaving his own behind as some security; told him to tell us when he was ready, &c. This flight of the Capemen is most inconvenient for the men, who have to work and keep watch, nobody excepted. Catechist (Bernert Willemsz Wilant), barber (unidentified) and Commander (Jan van Riebeeck) have to go about armed to see whether there is no conspiracy or secret gathering of the natives. All the dwellings in the fort are provided with firearms. The fort not to be easily taken, but the men being so scattered during the day, a great massacre might take place. The woodmen returning in the evening likewise reported the sudden departure of the Capemen.3


  1. [S672] NGK Baptism Records Cape Town 1652 to 1695: Den 17 augusti in't jaer 53 is hijer gekomen mit schip Die Fenicx domine Ironte uth gevaren van die camer Amstelred heeft hijer. Den 24 een predicatie gedaen ende het heijlige avontmael des uth gedeilt heeft ock mijn soontien gedoopt out sijnde jaer en tin weken genaemt Bernert Willemsz Wilant en is die eerste gebor[...] christen die in dese voortresse geboren is., (1652 to 1695), unknown repository, unknown repository address. Hereinafter cited as NGK Baptism Records Cape Town 1652 to 1695.
  2. [S673] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, December 1651 - December 1653[5], Van Riebeeck's Journal, &c. Part I, H.C.V. Leibrandt; (Cape Town, South Africa: W. A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, Castle Street, 1897), p.23.Weather too severe to do much to the fortifications and dwellings, which latter we could not so cover in with planks and tarpaulins that the bread and other dry stores could be made safe from the rain. This evening the wife of the Catechist gave birth to a son, the first child born within the fort. The Catechist is as yet the only occupant, since the day before yesterday, of the fort; all of us are still dwelling in tents but hope to occupy the fort next week, which will be better quarters.. Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5].
  3. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], pp.233-234.

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