S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Du Toit, Reverend Hendrik Johannes Louw (mathematics)

Born: 5 October 1856, South Africa.
Died: 9 January 1947, Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Hendrik Johannes Louw Du Toit, minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, was the son of Gerrit Jan du Toit and his wife Elisabeth Marie, born Louw. He matriculated in 1874 and was awarded the degree Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Literature and Science in 1876, by the University of the Cape of Good Hope (an examining body only, and the first university on the subcontinent, founded in 1873). He was also awarded the university's scholarship in science that same year. Two years later he became the first student to be awarded a masters degree in the sciences by a southern African university, namely the Master of Arts (MA) in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy. He studied at the Stellenbosch Gymnasium (forerunner of the University of Stellenbosch) under Prof. George Gordon*, but the degree was awarded by the University of the Cape of Good Hope, on the basis of written examinations in algebra, plane geometry, solid geometry, trigonometry, differential and integral calculus, statics, dynamics, hydrostatics, geometrical optics, and astronomy. The next Master of Arts degree in this category was awarded only in 1888 (to A.B. Bartmann*), while the first Master of Arts in Natural Science was awarded to C.F. Juritz* in 1886.

Du Toit showed no further interest in mathematics. He became a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in 1882 and served until his retirement in 1930. In June 1890 he laid the foundation stone of the first Dutch Reformed Church in Lichtenburg, as its first minister. During the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) he was a prisoner of war at Simonstown. A bundle of 24 sermons delivered by him in the camp there were published in Cape Town in 1900. In 1903 he delivered the opening address at a general meeting of the church in Pretoria. He was married to Susanna Wilhelmina Rocher, with whom he had a son.

List of sources:
De Bruyn, G.F.C. Wiskunde dosente en studente. Universiteit van Stellenbosch en voorgangers. Stellenbosch: G.F.C. de Bruyn, 1991.

Hendrik Johannes Louw du Toit. Geni, at https://www.geni.com/people/Hendrik-Johannes-Louw-du-Toit/6000000010798543517 as on 2016-9-21.

South African bibliography to the year 1925. London: Mansell, 1979.

Standard encyclopaedia of southern Africa (Vol. 6, p. 129b). Cape Town, Nasou, 1970-1976.

Thom, H.B. et al. Stellenbosch 1866-1966: Honderd jaar hoër onderwys. Kaapstad: Nasionale Boekhandel.

University of the Cape of Good Hope. Calendar, 1877, 1879.

Compiled by: C. Plug