S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Brand, Mr Christoffel (plant collection)

Born: 29 June 1738, Muldersvlei, Western Cape, South Africa.
Died: 27 January 1815, Cape Town, South Africa.

Christoffel Brand, son of Burchard Heinrich Brand and his wife Anna van der Bijl, entered the service of the Dutch East India Company at the Cape as a soldier in 1755 and was appointed as book-keeper ten years later. In April 1774 he became the company's resident at Simon's Bay, where his duties included recording the arrivals and departures of ships, supplying the company's ships with provisions and supervising their cargoes. He was a respected official, known for his kindness and hospitality, and served as chairman of the Marriage Council, administrator of the timber store, a member of the Council of Justice, and a member of the Council of Policy. At the time of the first British occupation of the Cape in 1795 Brand acted as an intermediary in the negotiations between the Cape government and the British fleet in Simon's Bay. After the occupation he was appointed collector of inland customs, a position he held until his death.

In 1771, when the expedition of Captain James Cook called at the Cape, Brand met Joseph Banks*, botanist of the expedition. He made a collection of local plants and sent these to Banks at Kew Gardens. His specimens are now in the British Museum. He also entertained several other well-known visitors, including Anders Sparrman* and Francois le Vaillant*, and assisted Francis Masson* to obtain official permission to explore the colony.

Brand married Catharina Maria Blankenberg in Cape Town in 1759 and they had eight children.

List of sources:

African court calendar, 1802, 1807-1815. Reprinted by the South African Library, 1982.

Dictionary of South African biography, Vol. 2, 1972.

Geni, at http://www.geni.com/people/Christoffel-Brand/6000000007517529267

Gunn, M. & Codd, L.E. Botanical exploration of southern Africa. Cape Town: Balkema, 1981.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Christoffel Brand.

Compiled by: C. Plug