Pieter Becker1,2

M, #6676, b. 1673, d. circa 1748

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NGK Drakenstein Baptisms 1694-1732NGK Drakenstein Baptisms 1694-1732
NGK Stellenbosch Baptisms 1688-1732NGK Stellenbosch Baptisms 1688-1732
LettersLetters Despatched 1696-1708
Last Edited11/11/2015
Birth*Pieter Becker was born in 1673 in Königsberg, Prussia.3,4
Marriage*He married Jannetje de Clercq, daughter of Pieter Abraham(se) de Clercq and Sara Couchet, before 17 November 1698 de Caep de Goede Hoop.5
Death*He died circa 1748.6


Jannetje de Clercq b. b 3 May 1676
Arrival* On 16 April 1695, Pieter Becker arrived at the Cape from Texel on board the Voetboog.7 
(Witness) Employment On 13 July 1695 Ernst Friedrich Walter hired Pieter Becker from the Company to work on his farm Lubeck, Simondium, Drakenstein, at a rate of ƒ10 per month of which Becker received ƒ5.5 along with his food, drink and accommodation. ƒ4.5 went to the Company coffers.8 
(Murderer) Death On 26 February 1698 André Gauch was murdered at his homestead, most likely in the Drakenstein district. He was struck three mortal blows to the head.

The perpertrator was never officially identified or brought to book, but circumstantial evidence suggests that Pieter Becker may have been the perpertrator, possibly with the knowledge of Jannetje de Clercq the wife of the deceased and whom he married, apparently within months.9,10 
Letter On 16 June 1702, in a letter from Willem Adriaan van der Stel and the Council of Policy to Roelof Diodati Commander for Mauritius and his council, the latter were informed that Pieter Becker was to be banished to Mauritius in terms of a sentence passed by the Council of Justice on 10 November 1701 for assaulting the cornet of the burgher-dragoons, Jan Stevens Botma. But Becker escaped into the interior before he could be shipped to Mauritius.11,12 
Letter* On 31 July 1703 In a letter from Willem Adriaan van der Stel and the Council of Policy to Roelof Diodati Commander for Mauritius and his council, the latter were informed that Pieter Becker had escaped to the interior prior to his banishment to Mauritius.13 
(Beneficiary) LiquidDist Between 3 May 1714 and 30 September 1716 a liquidation and distribution account was prepared in the estate of Sara Couchet Cabo de Goede Hoop. The inventory named Abraham le Clercq, Pieter Becker, Jannetje de Clercq, Guilliam Oberholster, Joannes Oberholster and Johanna Barbara Oberholster as benefitting from the estate. Pieter Becker was named beneficiary as the husband of Jannetje de Clercq, and the Oberholster siblings inherited through their deceased mother, Helena du Toit. The fact that Anna de Clercq, who was alive at the time, is as not named as a beneficiary is telling and adds to the evidence that she was not a legitimate daughter of Abraham de Clercq.14
Baptisms - WitnessPieter Becker and Jannetje de Clercq witnessed the baptism of Martha Mouton on 12 May 1709 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Stellenbosch, de Caep de Goede Hoop.15,16
He and Jannetje de Clercq witnessed the baptism of Johan Christophel van den Berg on 3 August 1732 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Drakenstein, de Caep de Goede Hoop.17
Vrijbriewen and Burgher StatusPieter Becker became a burgher on 18 May 1697, in Dutch vryburgher or vrijburgher, initially a status in which a soldier or other employee of the VOC was released from their contractual obligations to the VOC and permitted to farm, become a tradesman, or work for others. Subsequently some individuals, including the Huguenot refugees, were brought to the Cape specifically to farm and were burghers from the time of their arrival.18
Crime and relatedOn 1 October 1701 Pieter Becker refused to fall in under the cornet of the burgher-dragoons at Drakenstein, Jan Stevensz Botma de Jonge. Olof Bergh, the Captain, struck him with a cane, and Bekker then threatened to behead Bergh with his sword; he followed this threat by firing at the tent - presumably Bergh was inside - causing sand to fly into it.19,20
On 10 November 1701 at de Caep de Goede Hoop Pieter Becker was was convicted on a range of charges following the events the previous month. He was sentenced to ten years banishment in Mauritius and ordered detained on Robben Island until he could be shipped there.21
Before 25 April 1710 Pieter Becker brutally assaulted his slave Maria van Ceylon over a period of three days.22


  1. [S408] Drakenstein Heemkring, compilers, Drakenstein I Baptisms., CD-ROM (Paarl) Drakenstein Heemkring, 2006 , Baptism Register, 1702 24de December. - Helena; de Vader Pieter Becker, de modier Jannetie de Klerk; d' getuygen Jacobus van As, Helena Schalk. Hereinafter cited as Drakenstein I Baptisms.
  2. [S325] Lorna Newcomb and Ockert Malan, compilers, Annale van Nederduits Gereformeerde Moedergemeente Stellenbosch No 1.., CD-ROM (Stellenbosch) Die Genootskap vir die Kerkversameling, 2004 0-9584832-1-3), Baptism Register, Stephanùs, soon van Pieter Becker, en Jannetie de Klerk, getùygen Hans Jacob Conterman, en Anna Catrina Cleeft, der 16e Aùgs 1705.
    Marta, de Vader Jacob Moùton, d'Moeder Francina van Bevernage, getùygen Pieter Becker met Jannetie de Clerq, 12e May 1709.
    Martina, d'vader Pieter Becker, d'moeder Jannetie de Klerk, getùygen Maarten Hameling, 14 xbr [1710]. Hereinafter cited as Palmkronieke I Baptisms.
  3. [S204] Dr. J. Hoge, Personalia of the Germans at the Cape, 1652-1806, Archives Year Book for South African History (Cape Town: Government Printer, Union of South Africa, 1946), BECKER, PETER (S).-Konigsberg. * 1673, arr. 1695 as so., loaned as farmhand in same year, b. 1697, farmer at Drakenstein. x Jannetje de Klerk, wid. Andries Gous. 6 children : Hester, Helena, Stephanus, Dorothea Maria, Martinus, Catharina Margaretha. In 1701 sentenced to be exiled for ten years to Mauritius, for having assaulted the cornet of the burgher-dragoons, Jan Stevens Botma. But he escaped into the interior. In 1710 he was back at Drakenstein. Sentenced in same year to 4 years' hard labour and subsequent banishment to Europe for bestial ill-treatment of his slave, Maria of Ceylon. In Europe he re-entered the service of the Company and returned, in 1717, to the Cape. At his arrival he was sentenced to be exiled for life to Robben Island, where he died between June 1742 and June 1747. (G.R. nr. 24 ; CJ 241, p. 225, CJ 1123 , p. 59 ; CJ 726 : 21 ; CJ 248 : 41 ; GMR 1718-42 under Gecondemneerdes, Leibbrandt, Letters Desp. 1696-1708, pp. 209, 229 , attestation of Maria of Ceylon of 11.5.1710 in Stellenbosch Arch., vol. 624, attestation of 10.8.1708 in the same vol.; CJ 976 : 38 and 42.). Hereinafter cited as Personalia.
  4. [S625] J.L. Buys, "Pieter Becker ('n Stamvader) - sy misdade en verhore", 21 July 1992), From his interrogation on 14 June 1710:
    V:     Wat is die naam van die aangeklaagde en waar is hy gebore?
    A:     Pieter Bekker van Köningsberg.
    V:     Hoe oud is hy?
    A:     Sewe-en-dertig jaar.. Hereinafter cited as "Pieter Becker ('n Stamvader) - sy misdade en verhore."
  5. [S625] J.L. Buys, "Pieter Becker ('n Stamvader) - sy misdade en verhore", Gedurende sy ondervraging gedurende sy verhoor in 1710, het Becker erken dat hy sy slaaf, Claas, op 17 November 1698 gestraf het. Tot die tyd van sy dood was Gouws die eienaar van dié slaaf. Indien Becker nie die slaaf van Jannetje gekoop het nie, dan moes hy die eienaar geword het deur voor 17 November 1698 met haar te trou.
  6. [S331] Webpage Ball Family Records (www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk) "http://www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk/smit/I232.html."
  7. [S625] J.L. Buys, "Pieter Becker ('n Stamvader) - sy misdade en verhore", . . .en op 16 April 1695 kom dit in Tafelbaai aan. Becker bly aan boord tot 26 April 1695 en sit dan vir die eerste keer voet aan wal om sy “loopbaan” aan die Kaap te begin.
  8. [S625] J.L. Buys, "Pieter Becker ('n Stamvader) - sy misdade en verhore", Op 13 Julie 1695 word hy as kneg uitgehuur aan Ernst Frederik Walter wat op die plaas Lubeck, in Simondium, in Drakenstein geboer het, teen tien Gulden per maand. Van hierdie bedrag word vier-en-'n-half Gulden in die Kompanje se skatkis gestort en vyf-en-'n-half Gulden word aan Becker betaal "boven en behalven onderhoud van spijs, drank en goede huisvesting."
  9. [S625] J.L. Buys, "Pieter Becker ('n Stamvader) - sy misdade en verhore", VERKLARING VAN DIE CHIRURG PAUL LE FEBRE
    In sv verklaling i.v.m. Gauché se dood op 3.3.1698 sê Paul Lebre, ' n chirurg van Stellenbosch, dat "ick my op Donderdag den 27 Feb: jongstlede des morgens vroeg ter requisitie van en beneevens de Heemraden Jacob de Wildt en Maarten van Staden getransport en bevonden hebbende ten huijse van den vrijsmit André Gauché, aan Drakensteijn woonagtig". Daar is die dooie liggaam van André Gauché aan hom getoon. Hy het die liggaam noukeuring ondersoek en gevind dat daar drie dodelike wonde aan die hoof was, een reg bo op die agterkant van die hoof en 'n tweede op die regterkant van die hoof. Daar was ook 'n derde wond aan die regterkant, omtrent op die slaap. Die Chirurg beskryf die wonde in fyn besonderheid en meld dat "het verdere gedeelte van 't lighaam gausch gaaf en ongeschondent sijnde". Die verklaring is onderteken deur "Lefebure Chirurgien".
  10. [S151] J.A. Heese & R.T.J. Lombard, South African Genealogies 2 D-G (Pretoria, South Africa: Human Science Research Council, 1989), Page 488. Hereinafter cited as S.A. Genealogies 2 D-G.
  11. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Despatched 1696-1708, H.C.V. Leibrandt; CD-ROM (Cape Town, South Africa: W.A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, 1896), p.204-207: No. 30, p. 662. To Mauritius.
    16th June: 31st July We also send an ex-freeman - Pieter Becker, late of Drakenstein, banished by the Court for 10 years to Mauritius for the reasons stated in the annexed sentence of 10th November, 1701. He is to earn his living as a freeman, and be properly looked after lest he should escape ......... Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope.
  12. [S204] Dr. J. Hoge, Personalia, BECKER, PETER (S).-Konigsberg. In 1701 sentenced to be exiled for ten years to Mauritius, for having assaulted the cornet of the burgher-dragoons, Jan Stevens Botma. But he escaped into the interior.
  13. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, p.228-229: No. 100, p. 1028. To Mauritius. (Commander Roelof Deodati and Council.)
    31st July We would have sent you the freeman Pieter Becker, banished to your Island for 10 years, if he had not escaped into the interior.
  14. [S812] Liquidation and distribution account of the personal estate of Sara Couchet & Guiljam Du Toit of Cabo de Goede Hoop, dated 3 May 1714-30 Sept 1716 (eGSSA - MOOC 13/1/1 Boedelrekeninge 1709-1722, CD no. 1).
  15. [S325] Baptism Register, Palmkronieke I Baptisms, Marta, de Vader Jacob Moùton, d'Moeder Francina van Bevernage, getùygen Pieter Becker met Jannetie de Clerq, 12e May 1709.
  16. [S150] Edited & augmented by GISA Originally compiled by J.A. Heese & R.T.J. Lombard, South African Genealogies 5 L-M, GISA SA Genealogies (Stellenbosch, South Africa: Genealogical Institute of South Africa, 1999), p. 706. Hereinafter cited as S.A. Genealogies 5 L-M.
  17. [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, 1732; item [deb 3d Aug]; Johan Christophel; Jacob van den Bergh; M: Maria Magdalena Haak; Pieter Bekker en Johanna de Klerk.
  18. [S625] J.L. Buys, "Pieter Becker ('n Stamvader) - sy misdade en verhore", Daar kan nie met sekerheid gesê word hoe lank Becker vir Walter gewerk het nie. Hy het egter op 18 Mei 1697 vryburger geword en Walter is ongeveer 25 Oktober 1697 oorlede. Daar kan dus met redelike sekerheid aangeneem word dat Becker tot met verkryging van sy vryburgerskap in diens van Walter was.
  19. [S625] J.L. Buys, "Pieter Becker ('n Stamvader) - sy misdade en verhore", Gedurende die optrekdag op 1 Oktober 1701, het hy "hem tegens de cornet Jan Stevensz Bothma, onder wiens standaard hij (die aangeklaagde) als dragonder meede behoorden, en vervolgens an deselve de behoorlijke eerbewijsing en gehoorsaamheijd schuldig was, niet alleen mel veel moeijlijk hedden, en kwaade bejegeningen, te opposeenen, maar volmondig onder de gansche gemeente uit te roopen dat hij met genoemde Cornet Bothma niet wilde optrekken. Op welke geroep van den gevangenen (Becker) Capitein Olof Berg en den onderkoopman Jacobus Cruse" opgedaag het by die kerkhof, waar die kruit uitgedeel is.

    Ten spyte van hulle teenwoordigheid, volhard Becker met sy wangedrag en skeltaal totdat dit onuithoubaar word en kaptein Bergh dit nie langer kon duld nie en hom "eenige rottang slaagen gegeeven heeft om hem daar door an sijn behoorlijke pligt te doen gedenken; dog dat hy gevangen in plaatze van dien, nog hitzigen en kwaaden werdende, tot die buitensporigheeden is vervallen".

    In sy woede plaas Becker sy hand op sy sabel en snou Bergh toe: "so den kaptein Bergh my weeder slaat sal ik hem die kop voor sijn voeten leggen".

    Op hierdie stadium van die gedoente was Becker blykbaaf totaal buite beheer en tydens "de Ruitery van het kerkhof tot voor de tent, alwaar opgemelde geceommiteerdens (Bergh en Cluse) met eenig ander geselschap in waaren", gaan hy homsell sover te buite as om "in de tent te schieten, sodanig datl het sand door de tent gevloogen is".
  20. [S414] H.F. Heese, Reg en Onreg (Kaapse Regspraak in die Agtiende Eeu) (Belville, South Africa: Instituut vir Historiese Navorsing, Universiteit van Wes-Kaapland, 1994), ISBN 1-86808-195-8, Insubordinasie, dit wil sê die weiering om 'n wettige (militêre) bevel uit te voer, het ook onder die Kaapse burgery, of plaaslike milisie, voorgekom. Die uitstaande voorbeeld hiervan is die weiering van die Drakensteinse burger, Pieter Bekker van Königsberg, om onder die bevel van kornet Botma te val. Kaptein Oloff Bergh het hom hierop tydens die militêre oefening op Stellenbosch 'n hou met 'n rottang gegee. Bekker het losgetrek met dreigemente dat hy Bergh met sy swaard sou onthoof en het hierna met sy voorlaaier 'n skoot op 'n tent gelos dat die sand binne in die tent gespat het. Vir hierdie handeling is Bekker gevonnis om drie maal met sy naakte rug deur die spitsroede te loop, 'n boete van 50 riksdalers te betaal en om vir 10 jaar na Mauritius verban te word. Tot tyd en wyl 'n boot na Mauritius sou vertrek, is hy op Robbeneiland aangehou.
    BEKKER, Pieter, burger te Drakenstein, Königsberg Insubordinasie; dreig om Kapt Oloff Bergh te onthoof. Moet drie maal deur die spitsroede met blote rug loop, 10 jaar na Mauritius verban; tydelik op Robbeneiland. CJ 781, 21; 10.11.1701-10.11.1701. Hereinafter cited as Reg en Onreg.
  21. [S625] J.L. Buys, "Pieter Becker ('n Stamvader) - sy misdade en verhore", Op 10 November 1701, word Becker skuldig bevind op 'n klag van aanranding op Jan Stevensz Bothma. Hy word ook skuldig bevind op 'n aanklagte van openbare geweld, sedisie, muitery en kwaadwillige insibordinasie en word gevonnis "om driemaal met de bloote rug door de spitsrooden te loopen," en verban te word "voor den tijd van thien agtereenvolgende jaren op het Eijland Mauritius". Hy moet ook 'n boete van vyftig Riksdaalders aan die Fiskaal betaal en alle regskoste dra.

    Die Raad beveel dat hy op Robbeneiland aangehou word totdat hy na Mauritius vervoer kan word.
  22. [S625] J.L. Buys, "Pieter Becker ('n Stamvader) - sy misdade en verhore."
  23. [S331] Webpage Ball Family Records (www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk) "http://www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk/gous/I030.html##I035."
  24. [S325] Baptism Register, Palmkronieke I Baptisms.
  25. [S331] Webpage Ball Family Records (www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk) "http://www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk/gous/I029.html##I037."

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