Simon van der Stel (1639-1712), Dutch commander and governor of the Cape Colony, in what is now South Africa, from 1679 to 1699. He was appointed to the post of commander by the Dutch East India Company. Van der Stel encouraged agriculture and forestry and developed a scientific approach to the production of wine at the Cape. He founded new settlements inland, away from Cape Town, although he imposed harsh penalties on settlers who moved outside the colony’s boundaries in search of better grazing land or to barter. From 1688 onwards he was successful at integrating French Huguenot refugee settlers at the Cape, thereby establishing a pattern under which other non-Dutch settlers could be accommodated in the colony.

Some Huguenots were sent to Limietvallei (border or frontier valley), and this area become known as Val du Charron or Wagenmakersvallei (Valley of the Wagon makers).

The Verdeau brothers, Jacques, ‘bachelor 20 years old and Hercule his brother, 16 years old’, from the Provence region in France are registered in the Passenger List of the Dutch ship Berg China which departed from Rotterdam on the 26th of March 1688 and arrived in the Cape of Good Hope on the 4th of August 1688.

The farm Champagne was first allocated to Hercule Verdeau in 1699 by Simon van der Stel and for most of the 18th century belonged to Huguenot families. A large portion of the original farm was subdivided when the town Wellington was proclaimed in 1840 after the land was bought by the Church Commission to form the nucleus of the town. A section of the prop-erty was used for the church which was consecrated in the same year, with Reverend AF du Toit as the first minister. The rest of the land was subdi-vided into plots which became the nucleus of the town.

In 1711, Hercule Verdeau bought his second property at the Cape, the farm Wildepaardejacht which was first allocated on 28 February 1699 to fellow Huguenot Philippe Foucher of Suevres, France. After his death Foucher's widow sold the farm to Hercule Verdeau.

Today the farm is known as the residence of former President FW de Klerk & his wife Elita.

Hercule Verdeau (d 1722) was to married Catharina Wibaut (aka Marie Catherine Huibaux, d 1752) in 1702 and two girls, Magdalena and Susanna were born in 1703 and 1707 respectively - resulting in the family name becoming extinct.

The rough translations of ‘Verdeau’ is clean water or as ‘Ver d’ Eau’ it translates as a glass of water. Fontein or Fountain Street, which borders the property on the South-Western side, is well known for the availability of water.

Logo Symbolism: Synonymous with the French, the 3 petaled Fleur de Lis or Fleur de Lys means "flowers of the lily." This stylized lily has traditionally been used to represent French royalty. It signifies perfection, light and life. In this logo, it is adapted with two extra petals, to form a fountain - personifying the translation of the name as well as the street it the development is located upon.

Information courtesy of:
Transcribed from Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London, Volume 5, No. 1-4, 1894-1896, Printed by Charles T. King, High Street, Lymington, 1898
Notes on the Huguenot Families at the Cape of Good Hope by CC de Villiers (From Copy Presented by W. J. C. Moens, Esq., F.S.A.), pp. 222-250
Ancestry 5765
Wellington Museum