Maria Mouton

Event Date Place
Birth 1687 Middelburg, Netherlands
Death 01 September 1714 Cape Town, South Africa

Maria was born in 1687 in Middelburg, Zeeland.  She was the third child born from her parents, Jacques Mouton, and Maria de Villiers.  

In 1699, three big events took place in Maria’s life.  To escape religious persecution, they, together with other French Huguenots, fled and emigrated to the Cape Colony from Zeeland, onboard the ship Donkervliet.  En route, Maria’s mother gave birth to her sister and shortly after, her mother passed away. It was not long before Maria’s father remarried. 

It is easy to believe that this was a very traumatic time for Maria.  She was in an unknown world, lost her mother, gained a sister that she needs to raise, and also had to get familiar with her stepmother – all at once.  Let us not forget she was the tender age of 12-years old at the time.

Even though during that time men outnumbered women two-to-one in the Cape Colony, Maria married Franz Jooste(n), a man at least 15 years her senior.  Franz, known in the community as “schurfde Franz”, was a hardworking and successful person, but not an easy man. 

Maria had an affair with one of Franz’ slaves, Titus van Bengal.  She later convinced Titus, together with another slave, Pieter, to murder Franz.  She claimed during her trial in court that Franz was a difficult man and that he did not once buy her new clothes during their 9-year marriage.  Needless to say, the magistrate found Maria’s excuses frivolous and sentenced her and the two slaves to death. 

Maria was bound to a pole, and, in an excruciating, painful manner, scorched and strangled to death. Afterwards, her body was fastened to a fork post and displayed in public until her body totally disintegrated. She was the only white woman to receive the death penalty in the Cape Colony during the 18th century.

Settlements of the first Free Burghers in the Cape Colony.

Maria's Family:

Connection Person
Father Jacques Jacob Mouton
Mother Maria de Villiers
Siblings Antoine Mouton, Magdaleine Bourson Mouton, Marie-Jeanne Mouton, Margareta Mouton, Abraham Mouton, Susanna Mouton, Jacob Mouton, Marta Mouton, Isaak Mouton, Johanna Mouton, Cornelia Mouton
Husband Franz Jooste
Children Jacob Jooste, Francois Jooste
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