Hendrik "Henry" Cloete (1817 - 1888)

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Death: Died
Occupation: Farmed at Groot Constantia, Cape
Managed by: Lea Herbst
Last Updated:

About Hendrik "Henry" Cloete

Henry, Jacob and Frederick Henry (1818-1888), Jacob’s eldest son, who had already gained an intimate knowledge of the farm under his father’s stewardship, acted as farm manager from 1871 to 1875. His wife was Maria Catharina Duckitt, daughter of Frederick Duckitt and Hillegonda Johanna Versfeld.

After his mother died in 1867, he and his wife and seven children moved from the Jonkershuis into the homestead. Two years later their eighth child, Constance (or Con) was born. Henry’s eldest sons, Frederick (Freddie) and Jacob (Jappa) had joined the Kimberley diamond rush in 1867 but returned to Constantia in 1873, apparently without having had much success. Jappa and his friend, Percy Fitzpatrick, author of the well-known book Jock of the Bushveld, also prospected for gold in the Lydenberg area - again without much success. The two brothers probably lived in the Jonkershuis and helped their father with the farming.

It is evident that the Cloetes must have been plagued by phylloxera over a long period. In 1875 Henry, in desperation, travelled to France to study methods of treating this dreaded vine disease. While there, he sent disease resistant vine stocks and many varieties of pear trees to Groot Constantia. He remained overseas presumably not merely studying phylloxera for 10 years, while his son Freddie acted as farm manager and son Jappa took charge of the estate’s office in Adderley Street, Cape Town.

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