Hendrik (van Rheede) van Rheede tot Drakenstein

Hendrik Adriaan (van Rheede) van Rheede tot Drakenstein (1636 - 1691)

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Baron Hendrik Adriaan "Henricus Adrianus" van Rheede tot Drakenstein formerly van Rheede
Born in Amsterdam, Netherlandsmap
Ancestors ancestors
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died in At sea, off the coast of Bombay, Indiamap
Profile last modified | Created 10 Oct 2015
This page has been accessed 951 times.

Categories: The Dutch Cape Colony 1652-1806.

Table Bay, South Africa (1762)
Hendrik (van Rheede) van Rheede tot Drakenstein was part of the settlement of the Dutch Cape Colony.
Join: Cape of Good Hope - Kaap de Goede Hoop (1652-1806) Project
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Baron Hendrik Adriaan van Reede / Rheede tot Drake(n)stein [1], Heer tot Mijdrecht (Amsterdam, 13 April 1636 - at sea 15 December 1691) [2]
Military man & colonial administrator of VOC & naturalist. Commander (1670-1677) of Dutch Malabar employing 25 people on his book "Hortus Malabaricus", describing 740 plants in region. Plant Entada rheedii is named after him. [2]
Born into noble family that plays leading role in political, administrative & cultural life of Utrecht province. Mother, Elisabeth van Utenhove (dies 1637) while father, Ernst van Rheede, Council at Admiralty of Amsterdam, dies when he aged 4. Youngest of 7 children, leaves home aged 14. [2]
Joins (1656) as soldier in VOC & meets with Johan Bax van Herentals. Serves under Admiral Rijcklof van Goens in campaigns against Portuguese on Malabar Coast. Gains rapid promotion becoming ensign. During siege of Cochin (1663), arrests / rescues queen from murderous relatives. Subsequent king of Cochin maintains cordial relations & as Dutch captain mediates with Kingdom of Cochin. [2]
Appointed (1665) commander in Jaffna & has Johan Nieuhof locked up for smuggling pearls. Forced to resign (1669) from VOC by Van Goens being opposed to his repressive measures & favouring negotiation, but appointed (1670) as commander of Dutch Malabar. Fights (1671) with Zamorin of Calicut having dealings (1672 with former VOC-employee François Caron, then serving French East India Company. Moves (1677) to Jakarta, being appointed to Council of India staying for about 6 months but conflict with Van Goens grows fiercer. [2]
Returns to Amsterdam (June 1678) styling himself (since 1680) Lord of Mijdrecht. Signs (1681) contract with botanists Jan Commelin & Johannes Munnicks & works on manuscript. [2]
Drakenstein, Cape
Appointed (1684) by VOC`s Council of Seventeen to inspect Cape Colony, Ceylon & Dutch India to combat corruption. Appoints Isaac Soolmans to accompany him. They visit [3] VOC Commander (later governor) Simon van der Stel at Cape of Good Hope & "Groot Constantia"; area "Groot Drakenstein" named after him. [4] Recommends measures for forestry & viniculture. Van der Stel opens (1687) this region to farmers. Introduces major legal reforms for the colony also clarifying the legal rights pertaining to slave manumissions. [2]
Drakenstein, Cape
Bachelor but adopts mestiça girl (Francina) from Malabar by unknown Dutch father. Meets with Van Goens junior, ambitious administrator en route to Batavia. Both men dislike each other. Earlier Van Goens Junior had given orders - afraid for competition anywhere else in the world - to extirpate all acclimatizating cinnamon trees destined for Amsterdam Municipal Garden - possible that rare trees for Grand Pensionary Gaspar Fagel then also destroyed. Sails to Colombo & after 2 months to Bengal. Visits many VOC trading posts, especially around Hooghly. Next destination is Coromandel staying for 1 year at Nagapattinam. Founds (1690) seminary in Jaffna then goes to Tuticorin & Malabar. [2]
30 May 1685: "Visiting Commissioner Hendrik Adriaan van Reede tot Drake{n}stein, Heer van Mijdracht writes about the indomitable & multiple married 'Trijn Ras' [Catharina (Trijn / Kryn) Hostinghs / Hustings / Ostings / Ufftincx/ Ustings (from Lübeck)] & her husbands ... " ... den eersten van een leeuw, den tweeden dooerde Hottentots en den derden door d'elephanten om hals gebracht ...": "Wednesday 30 May 1685. Today we set out on our horses & arrived at a farm dwelling lying beneath the Steenberg. Here the lady of the house & her marriageable daughter [ Marina Ras ] presented us with her compliments some home grown produce consisting of very delicious firm cabbage, freshly baked bread & some radishes. Her name was Kryn Ras & she was then married to her 4th [sic] husband. The 1st [sic - Hans Rasch (From Angeln) had been killed by a lion, the 2nd [sic - Francois Champelier (from Ghent)] by the Hottentots [Khoikhoi] & the 3rd [sic - Laurens Cornelissen (from Gothenburg] probably by an elephant for he had gone out to shoot hippo for his family & was never heard of again. Here she was with a house full of children & married to her foreman. Her nearest neighbour lived 4 hours away. 3 times she had been comfortly off & well established & 3 times impoverished. Her farm consisted of 12 morgen of good grainland with sufficient stock for her needs. She was accustomed to ride astride, quite alone, to the Cape settlement & back in a remarkably short time & the manner of so doing would have terrified anyone who met her en route if they had known who she was. Her daughter [ Mari(n)a Ras ] could easily have passed for an Egyptian fortune-teller & the rest of the family could have been wild Indians from Brazil." [Mansell Upham] [5]
Sails (end November 1691) to Dutch Suratte but dies at sea, off coast of Bombay (15 December 1691). Some authors suggest that he is poisoned by VOC employees, others that he is sick already for a while. Buried at Surat (3 January 1692) in presence of adopted daughter Francina. [2]
Work on plants of Malabar region begins (1674) & draft of 1st volume of "Hortus Malabaricus" is produced (c. 1675). VOC encourages publication of scientific work (since 1660) & his documentation of useful plants helps in fight against local diseases. 1st volume of "Hortus Malabaricus" published (1678) - compendium of plants of economic & medical value in south Indian Malabar region undertaken when Jonkheer van Rheede is Dutch commander of Cochin & continues for next 3 decades. Published in 12 volumes & 4 languages: Latin, Sanskrit, Arabic & Mayalam. [2]
Mentioned in these volumes are plants of Malabar region which in his time refers to stretch along Western Ghats from Goa to Kanyakumari. Ethno-medical information presented in work is extracted from palm leaf manuscripts by famous practitioner of herbal medicine named Itty Achuden. Compilations edited by team of nearly 100 including physicians, professors of medicine & botany, amateur botanists (such as professor Arnold Seyn, Theodore Jansson of Almeloveen, Paul Hermann, Johannes Munnicks, Jan Commelin, Abraham Poot, translator of Dutch version), Indian scholars & vaidyas (physicians) of Malabar & adjacent regions, & technicians, illustrators & engravers, together with collaboration of company officials, clergymen (Johannes Casearius & Father Mathew of St. Joseph). Also assisted by King of Cochin & ruling Zamorin of Calicut. [2]
Carolus Linnaeus makes use of his work, noting in preface of his "Genera Plantarum" (1737) that he does not trust any authors except Dillen in "Hortus Elthamensis", Rheede in "Hortus Malabaricus" & Charles Plumier on "American plants" & further notes that Rheede is most accurate of three. [2]


  1. Drakensteyn (sometimes "Drakesteijn" or "Drakestein") - small castle at 9 Slotlaan in the hamlet of Lage Vuursche, in the municipality of Baarn, Netherlands now owned by Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands, the country's former Queen who abdicated (2013). Beatrix bought the castle (1959), when she was the heir to the Dutch throne taking up residence (1963). After her marriage (1966) she continued to live there with her husband, Prince Claus & later their 3 sons as well. After Beatrix succeeded (1980) her mother Juliana as Queen of the Netherlands, the family moved (1981) to The Hague. It was announced (28 January 2013) that Beatrix would take up residence at the castle after her son, Willem-Alexander, ascended to the Dutch throne (30 April 2013). Beatrix moved in to the castle (2 February 2014). A house called Drakesteijn at this location was 1st mentioned in 1359, but the current building was constructed (1640–1643) for Gerard van Reede (c. 1620-1669) - brother to VOC Commissioner Hendrik Adriaan van Reede tot Drakenstein (1636-1691) after whom Drakenstein at the Cape of Good Hope was named by Commander (later governor) Simon van der Stel - on the estate purchased by their father Ernst van Reede (1588-1640), husband to Elisabeth van Utenhove (1595-1637). In the 17th & 18th centuries the castle changed hands on several occasions belonging also to the famous WIC & Sociëteit van Suriname slave-trading Godin family (until 1779). Thereafter Paulus Wilhelmus Bosch, mayor of Utrecht owned (1807) Drakensteyn Castle. The house remained in possession of that family for 150 years until Frederik Lodewijk Bosch van Drakestein sold it to Princess Beatrix. It should not be confused with the nearby Klein Drakesteijn ("Little Drakesteijn"; located at 4 Kloosterlaan), which was built in 1780. The royal connection aside, its most distinctive feature is its octagonal shape. It is surrounded by a moat that can be crossed via a bridge. Its style can be described as Classicist. [Mansell Upham] Source: First Fifty Years - Project collating Cape of Good Hope records Facebook Community Page: Oct 10 at 7:45 am Seen and added by Philip van der Walt Oct 10, 2015.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 Source: [Mansell Upham] Source: First Fifty Years - Project collating Cape of Good Hope records Facebook Community Page: Oct 10 at 9:18 am Seen and added by Philip van der Walt Oct 10, 2015.
  3. 19 April 1685 arrived "Emmenes", "Eenhoorn", yacht "Bantam", flute "Adringhem" & "Stavenis", with Van Reede as Admiral & Commissioner [actually Commissioner-General]. He, with Councillor de St. Martin & Upper-Merchant Banchem came ashore into the Fort [Journal] ... 16 June 1685 ... ships "Bantam" & "Voorschoten" receive their despatches ... Hon. St Martin goes aboard "Bantam" ... 17 July 1685 ... sailed ... "Purmer" & flute "Adringhem" [with Van Reede]" Source: [Journal]
  4. The naming of Drakenstein [Paarl] ... 10 October 1687 "... this morning the Commandeur [the castiço Simon van der Stel] leaves Stellenbosch, going towards the Berg River, accompanied by freemen who had asked for land ... in afternoon comes to a very fruitful & large valley ... His Honour gives this pleasing region the name of "Drakenstein" ... 23 farms ..." [Journal] The Drakenstein ("Dragonstone") Mountains are part of the Cape Fold Belt situated in the Western Cape province of South Africa & named in honour of his unmarried aristocratic friend Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede tot Drakestein (1636-1691) who visited (1685) the Cape as Commissioner-General - "Drakestein" [modern Dutch spelling now usually Drakestein] being the name of his estate in the Netherlands - now the private residence of retired Princess Beatrix, formerly Queen Beatrix ... The mountains actually comprise 2 separate ranges - Klein Drakenstein & Groot Drakenstein Mountains - the former being located just east of Paarl & punctuated by the Huguenot Tunnel on the N1 highway & Du Toitskloof Pass (820m) as the R101 route & the latter beig much taller & located south of Franschhoek & Stellenbosch, with Victoria Peak (1590m) as its highest point. Traversed by no mountain passes, it contains the Hottentots-Holland Nature Reserve & also holds title of the wettest place in South Africa in the upper reaches of the Jonkershoek Valley, with over 2000mm of precipitation per annum. Most vegetation is of the Cape Floristic Kingdom biome, & the primary rocks are of the Table Mountain Sandstone group of the Cape Supergroup. The region falls within the Mediterranean climatic zone, with cool, wet winters, with snow on the higher elevations & warm, dry summers. [Mansell Upham]; Source: First Fifty Years - Project collating Cape of Good Hope records Facebook Community Page: Oct 10 at 6:55 am Seen and added by Philip van der Walt Oct 10, 2015.
  5. Source: First Fifty Years - Project collating Cape of Good Hope records Facebook Community Page: May 30, 2016 at 6:06 am Seen and added by Philip van der Walt Jun 5, 2016.
  6. Seen: Oct. 10, 2015 by Philip van der Walt.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Anton Bergh 20 April 2011.

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Images: 7
The funeral procession of Baron van Rheede at Suratte
The funeral procession of Baron van Rheede at Suratte

Henricus Adrianus van Rheede to Drakenstein
Henricus Adrianus van Rheede to Drakenstein

Kasteel Drakensteyn
Kasteel Drakensteyn

Slot Draakesteyn
Slot Draakesteyn

Drakensteyn - Stellenbosch vanaf Papagaaiberg
Drakensteyn -  Stellenbosch vanaf Papagaaiberg

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On 10 Aug 2016 at 11:37 GMT Philip van der Walt wrote:

Van Reede tot Drakenstein-1 and Van Rheede-24 appear to represent the same person because: Duplicate. Van_Rheede-24 has the more correct spelling of the LNAB (tot Drakenstein being a title). I'l do the final integration of the bio after the merge, thanks! (for those who do not understand / know - the higher number should in this case be the target profile to merge into>.

On 24 Feb 2016 at 19:16 GMT Steve Hennings wrote:

Should it say; Died At sea, "off" the coast of Bombay, India?

Hendrik is 32 degrees from Rosa Parks, 21 degrees from Anne Tichborne and 20 degrees from Victoria of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.

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