S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science




Van Horstok, Dr Hubertus Benedictus (zoological collection)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Dr H.B. van Horstok, physician, surgeon and zoologist from Alkmaar in the Netherlands (Pappe, 1866), qualified as Doctor of Medicine (MD) with a thesis entitled De scorbufo (Leiden, 1821, 23p). Soon afterwards he came to the Cape Colony and settled in Cape Town. In 1822 he applied to be registered as a physician in the colony and was duly registered as surgeon and accoucheur (male midwife). He opened a practice at 12 Burg Street, but by 1824 had moved it to 22 Strand Street and by 1827 to 22 Korteman Street.

Van Horstok was one of nine Cape Town medical practitioners who requested the governor in December 1829 to approve the formal establishment of the South African Medical Society (members had been meeting informally for some time). Approval was given later that month. He had been a participant in the earlier informal meetings of the society, for at a meeting on 12 November 1827 he and Dr J.K. van Oosterzee* were appointed to revise or edit some Dutch papers. In 1830 he was involved in a defamation case against the newspaper De Zuid-Afrikaan. He was still medically active at the Cape in 1833. Around that time he was one of the directors of the European Sick and Burial Society. He was a member of the South African Institution, and remained a member for a short time after this society amalgamated with the South African Literary Society in 1832 to form the South African Literary and Scientific Institution.

In 1828 van Horstok requested permission from the government to shoot game in order to provide specimens to the Royal Netherlands Museum of Natural History. Two years later he was still acting as agent for the museum. Among others he sent them fishes from the Cape.


List of sources:
African Court Calendar, 1823, 1824, 1825. Reprinted by the South African Library, Cape Town, 1982.

Beck, J.H.M. History of medicine and medical practice at the Cape. In: British Medical Association, Cape of Good Hope (Western Province) Branch, Presidential addresses for the years 1888-1908 (1894, pp. 63-111). Cape Town: Townsend, Taylor and Snashall, 1908.

Bregman, L.D. "Snug little coteries": A history of scientific societies in early nineteenth century Cape Town, 1824-1835 (Appendices F and G). PhD thesis, University College, London, 2003.

Cape Town Archives Repository (KAB). Source CO, Volume 3943, Reference 591, 1829: Memorial re permission to meet under the title "South African Medical Society".

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). . Documents relating to Van Horstok, Huberus Benedictus / Van Horstok, H.B.

National Union Catalogue, pre-1956 imprints. London: Mansell, 1968-1980.

Pappe, L. Synopsis of the edible fishes of the Cape of Good Hope (2nd ed.) Cape Town: Brittain, 1866.

South African Almanac and Directory, 1827, 1828: Directory of Cape Town; 1832, p. 176 and 1833, p. 139: European Sick and Burial Society.


Compiled by: C. Plug


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