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0000-00-00 00:00:00 by Colin Graham Botha
The French Refugees, at the Cape by Colin Graham Botha

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Colin Graham Botha
Forgotten Books
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Excerpt from The French Refugees, at the Cape

The idea of sending out emigrants was no new one, as this had been suggested by Commissioners who had come out to examine into the Company's affairs. Between 1671 and 1685 several families had come, and the attempt to induce women to settle, especially orphan girls, had not quite met with the success anticipated, as only a few arrived. Amongst the Refugees to be sent in 1685 were to be those who could make vinegar and distil brandy. They had to produce certificates of honesty from their consistories and consider themselves born Netherlanders. Regulations, subsequently amended, were drawn up. But the response just then was not encouraging, as only two or three expressed their readiness to go. No serious steps were taken in the matter until two years later when on the 1st October, 1687, the Directors appointed as a General Committee three members from the Amsterdam Chamber, two from the Zeeland Chamber and one from each of the other Chambers, all of whom were members of the Directorate. This Committee had to decide whether it was to the interest of the Company to send to the Cape, and to their other possessions, some French Piedmontese and fugitives, who professed the reformed religion, and, if so, on what footing and conditions. On the 6th October the Committee sent in their report,1 upon which it was resolved that the decision Of the 3rd October, 1685, should remain in force with certain amendments.

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