Willem Muller1

M, #16876, b. circa 1630

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Last Edited23/10/2015
BirthOrigin*Willem was from Frankfort and may have been born there circa 1630. His age is estimated.1 
NotesOn 7 September 1655 Willem Muller commenced writing a journal about his travels with Autshumao of the Goringhaicona, who the setlers referred to as Herry, to get livestock for the settlement. However to avoid clogging up his page, while still allowing me to link to the individuals named in the journal, I created a page specifically for this purpose, which is Company Journal Willem Muller.2
Monsterrollen and Opgaafrollen (Muster and tax rolls)On 20 March 1656 Willem Muller was enumerated in the muster roll, as a corporal.1
Company JournalOn 14 December 1653 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday), 15, 16 and 17. Men arrive with palisades on their shoulders from the woods with the news that six Hottentoos had been with them, and that a while after Corporal Willem Muller had proceeded with them to within cannon range of the fort, where they remained, stating that they had two cows beyond the river to sell to us. Accordingly we sent the Domine whom they knew well since last year with tobacco, copper, pipes and bread, and besides Muller another corporal, both secretly armed with pistols, but as soon as the natives saw them approaching they took to their heels to about half-a-mile beyond the view of the fort, where they awaited our people, seeing they had no muskets. Found them to be people of the captain, who seemed last year to be in alliance with Herry. Among them were two who were present when Herry stole the cattle. Often asked our men whether they had fire-arms with them, evidently being very frightened and shaking and trembling as they sat down with them. Could not be persuaded to come to the fort, but would be at the same spot tomorrow with two cows. Gave each a piece of wire, tobacco, pipes and bread, also some for their captain; and as one of them had had a hand in the theft, or at any rate was present when.it was committed, the present to the captain was entrusted to him to show that he was not suspected, and to remove their fears. They parted consequently in friendship, with the agreement to meet tomorrow, sending as a token of regard a full ostrich egg to the Commander. They also wished to make it appear that they abhorred Herry and his evil deeds. God best knows what to make of it, but it is certain that they fear that we will revenge ourselves on them. Must do our best by kind treatment to regain their confidence, which can only be done when again trading with them. The Domine is to go again to-morrow.3
On 6 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Council decides to despatch 9 volunteers under Corporal Willem Muller with Herry, provided with copper, tobacco, pipes, beads, &c., and also provisions and ammunition; all to be carried by oxen.4
On 11 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Men sent to the forest to carry out the beams to the wagon for the houses now being built; the light wooden dwellings brought from home are collapsing fast, the wood having been spoilt before it arrived here. Launched the Robbejacht of 16 or 17 tons, with 1 mast, &c., and provided with a fine cabin for the men, the whole made of Cape wood and intended to sail to the Islands; being made for oars also. Will last a long while as the worms do no mischief here. Will relieve the galiot. Woodmen report that; Herry and his party were still in that neighbourhood, some of his Hottentoos having stolen some of their food; some distrust had likewise arisen, as Herry had requested Corporal Willem Muller to discharge the firearms at night and leave them unloaded the whole night. Had also been in the forest and made particular inquiry into everything, our strength, arms, &c. Decided to land 9 more soldiers to strengthen Herry's party, who were to return if Herry delayed any longer; they were also to see whether he wished to go alone with some copper and rather to return than be delayed, as their food might run out and they be starved on the way. Not to leave their guns unloaded, but to be on their guard. The 9 soldiers leave under Corporal Symon Huybrechtsz.5
On on 11 September 1655, Company Journal Willem Muller (as translated): When the natives were packing the animals our chef went to see how they did it, and when we were ready to proceed, Herry approached and without reason threatened to beat our Corporal (Willem Muller) with a large stick. Looked to see how it would end. Herry then came to us and said go! go! right off, meaning “I don't want you here.” We then marched S. by E. and S.S.E; at night found that the Hottentoos had stolen pipes and beads and some copper, the reason no doubt why they would not have us near them when loading.6
On 12 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: The woodmen ask for a larger guard, as they are so scattered and always unarmed; the Hottentoos always trespassing. Soldiers sent to do nothing else than guard the men and things. Huybrechts returned and reported that the party had no scruple to proceed with Herry; were strong enough to look after themselves and require no more men; would like to have more provisions to stay away longer. Provisions sent with orders to Muller to inquire what may be obtained from the other natives, but if Herry delayed on the way and their provisions ran out, they were to return with the copper and let Herry go on alone.5
On 22 September 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Commander (Jan van Riebeeck) revisits the Island and finds it capable of providing for some cows; returns to Table Bay, finds everything as he had left it. Some of Herry's friends return to the fort, stating that the expedition had already proceeded so far that they can no longer see Table Mountain and were determined to go further to get as much cattle as possible. Corporal (Willem Muller), according to the Hottentoos, writing very much.7
On 5 October 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: Willem Muller and party return. Victuals had run out, and they had been unable to proceed further; had left the goods and one of the Company's oxen with Herry who had promised to return with a lot of cattle in two or three months' time; believe that he will do some good with the merchandise; would like to have had some asses to carry provisions and copper to be able to remain away longer with oxen it does not prosper well. Corporal (Muller) gives in his journal; had found an unhealthy spot where they had become quite lame and giddy; presumed that minerals might be in the neighbourhood, whence the unhealthiness emanated, for as soon as they had passed the place they became quite well again.2
On 5 October 1655, Company Journal Willem Muller (as translated): Marched to the flats, then went west until we came to the wagon-road leading to the fortress." Signed by Willem Muller and party.8


  1. [S647] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Despatched 1652-1662 to which are added land grants, attestations, Journal of voyage to Tristan da Cunha, names of freemen, &c. Vol III, H.C.V. Leibrandt; (Cape Town, South Africa: W.A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, 1900), p.284-286. Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope.
  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.239. Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5].
  3. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.93.
  4. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.235.
  5. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.236.
  6. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.239-240.
  7. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.237.
  8. [S673] Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5], p.242.

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