Thomas Poth1

M, #17312, b. circa 1625

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Last Edited25/08/2015
Birth*Thomas Poth was born circa 1625, date is estimated.1
Occupation* On 12 December 1655 Thomas Poth was the captain of the English ship, called Jan Anthamis or Jan Baptist by the settlers at the Cape, but probably the John the Baptist.1 
Company JournalOn 12 December 1655 in the Company Journal, as translated: (Sunday). Arrival of English ship, Jan Anthamis or Jan Baptist of 200 tons, Captain Thomas Poth, and merchant Nathaniel Davidts; on board; 24th April, from London and going to Bantam; had touched at Cape Verde, which it left on the 24th August: had lost in the long voyage of 8 months to this 10 men, and still had about 40 sick on board; requested to have refreshments and water; kindly allowed to take a lot of vegetables on board; also gave them 2 cows and 3 or 4 sheep, and allowed 10 or 12 of their sick into our hospital; were very grateful, and dined with the Commander, who bade them welcome. Sloop returns, having brought sheep to Robben Island; one had died; a large shed required there; do not possess the material. Obtained 6 cows and ditto sheep. Natives tell us that Herry is not inclined to serve as interpreter, but when ships arrive he is ready to fill his bags with bread, rice and wine; his copper had not been stolen, but he had exchanged it for cattle and sheep, so that he also had become a great Captain and asked very little after us, which we will discover more every day, &c. A certain Hottentoo called by us Doman, or Domine because he was such a very simple-minded man, and Claes Das having been asked by us whether this was true, affirmed it, adding that it was he who had stolen the Company's cattle 2 years ago, and that his sons had murdered the Dutch boy, telling us also how the whole was managed. Denied that the Capemen had anything to do with it, showing with evidence in what way Herry had with his gang committed the crime, against the wish of the Cape and Saldanha men. Capemen though unwilling to part with their cattle wished to be friends of the whites, and mediators between us and the Saldanhars in trade; and if we wished to prove what they had said we were to seize Herry, when he again came, when he would soon make a clean breast of it and send for his cattle, of which he has a large number, to regain his liberty. Being asked whether in case we did it, the Saldanha and Capemen would not run away thinking they might share the same fate, they said no, but on the contrary would be much obliged and more inclined to bring us more cattle, as no one feels kindly disposed towards Herry because he is such a big talker, and was continually rendering false reports from one side to the other. We might inquire from the son of the big Captain of the Capemen, and we would soon find out the feelings against Herry. Sent 5 men to the southern point of False Bay, where the men who had gone with Herry had found some mussels; each had to bring a bag full for us to examine.1


  1. [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.251. Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives, JVR Journal 1651-1653[5].

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