SOUTH-AFRICA-EASTERN-CAPE-L ArchivesArchiver > SOUTH-AFRICA-EASTERN-CAPE > 2008-03 > 1206485569
From: "Becky Horne" <>
Subject: [ZA-EC] Newspaper cuttings from the Eastern Cape - Sir Andries STOCKENSTRÖM - Part II
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 00:52:49 +0200
Weekend Post, 3 February 2007
Home is where the history is for Mulder
by Ivor Markman
Continued from Part I.
STOCKENSTRÖM was a very liberal man and was one of five people who, in 1850,
were appointed to fill vacancies in the Legislative Council after an
unofficial election". Immediately after new provisions for a constitution
were agreed upon, he and three other "popular members" resigned. With
John FAIRBURN he formed a deputation and travelled to England in
March 1851 to make representations for the immediate granting of a
representative government in the Colony. However, when
STOCKENSTRÖM reached England, he was unable to achieve
On returning to Cape Town in December, 1851, they were jeered by GODLONTON
and his supporters. But while the jeers were predictable, news that
STOCKENSTRÖM's home at "Maasström", his books and his personal
treasures, all lay in ashes, came as a tremendous shock.
A young English farmer, William AINSLIE, the first eyewitness at the
disaster scene, wrote to his father on August 18, 1851. "Maasström is in
ashes, dwelling house, wagon house and stables. The mill still stands."
Later, he wrote: "Everything is destroyed at Maasström, a fine pianoforte
amongst other things."
STOCKENSTRÖM rushed to his farm when he heard the news and although he found
all the neighbouring houses untouched by the war, the damages to his
property was so bad he settled his family in Cape Town. Several acres of a
plantation belonging to his English neighbours were also burnt because they
had volunteered to look after "Maasström" whilst STOCKENSTRÖM was in
At first he accepted the loss as the inevitable consequence of Xhosa action
during the Eighth Frontier War. Later, when a few Xhosa men appeared on the
farm, he scolded them for the useless destruction, but gradually evidence
came to light that revealed they were innocent. SANDILE, the Xhosa chief,
had issued strict orders that anyone who damaged STOCKENSTRÖM's house
would be put to death. Eventually it was established that STOCKENSTRÖM's
political opponents had burnt the house down.
"What have I got by these wars? My property in ruins, part of my family
living in wrecked sheds, my home burnt down, not by the black man but by the
loyal white man," said STOCKENSTRÖM. In order to finance rebuilding of the
house, STOCKENSTRÖM sold off part of his farm as plots and thus founded the
town of Bedford, naming it after his friend, the Duke of Bedford.
"Part of this house was the original house of Andries STOCKENSTRÖM," said
MULDER. "It's got spring water from the mountain. I have enough water for
the garden." MULDER was unsure how long STOCKENSTRÖM actually lived in the
house as he also lived for a while in Graaff-Reinet. "I just feel I'm
privileged to be here. Bedford is such a dynamic little town and there is a
wonderful, relaxed, nice quality of lifestyle. Living here you've got space,
freedom and fresh air," he said.
As MULDER spoke about his wildlife paintings his eyes glowed with
enthusiasm. "I love the mysterious sort of character of the wild dog.
Everybody paints leopards or lion. Nobody sees the character of wild dogs -
watch them in the pack, the whole family structure, the markings. . ," he
said. "They're an unknown factor. Knowledge of them is growing as a lot of
emphasis has been put on wild dogs. I don't know the exact facts (when) the
last one was shot, but I think it was in the 1860s, in a drift near
Even though MULDER loves painting eland, kudu are his favourite. "I love
kudu. Eland are not indigenous to this area. Kudu are and, in fact, come
into my garden. They actually go into town too (where) they eat flowers in
the gardens," he said.
SOURCE: Sir Andries Stockenström. by J L Dracopoli.
Conclusion of STOCKENSTRÖM.
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