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Born: 1761 12 25
Died: 1844 10 25


Born in Bremen, Germany, Schutte served seven years apprenticed to an architect in Hanover before entering the service of the Dutch East India Company with whom he came to the Cape in 1790 on the ship, the Maatsuyker.

While in the employ of the VOC he worked as a stonecutter in Robben Island quarry, where a rock-fall caused a blast which blinded him in the left eye and left hand, whereafter he was released from the services of the VOC in 1792. Four years thereafter he married the freed slave Christina Voges in 1796 (Hislop 2018:106).

He has been subsequently described as an architect and builder. He worked mainly, it seems, as a public works contractor, often in association with LM THIBAULT and A ANREITH, executing a number of historic public buildings. After Thibault's death (1815) Schutte appears to have completed a number of works designed by Thibault. Among his works was his own house built in 1798 in Plein Street, Cape Town and he repaired the Kat Balcony at the Castle in about 1800. In 1800 he was named one of those who repaired the Government House and was responsible for building of the Goede Hoop Lodge in Cape Town, (1801-1803), designed by Thibault. See receipt right which reads "Cape Town 15 July 1825, Received from Mr William Jones! Three hundred and Twenty three Rix dollars - payment for Plasterwork done in Government House between 13 and 30 May 1825. Signed H Schutte." William JONES was government overseer of works at the time.

Probably around 1803 he worked on Rust en Vreugd in association with Thibault and Anreith and built Hanover House near the Castle for his own use. In 1809 he carried on the work on Thibault's alterations to the Slave Lodge, Cape Town. In 1813 he was appointed Government Sworn Surveyor and altered a warehouse in Simon's Town for use as a church and built a parsonage, both in 1813. The Public Record Office, London, has a letter from Sir John Cradock to the Secretary for the Colonies enclosing a drawing by Schutte for a classical church at Simon's Town dated 10 May 1813. By October 1814 he was working on new buildings at Government House, Newlands; he built the Public Library, Cape Town in 1820 and was appointed Inspector of Town Buildings the same year. He made estimates for the lighthouse at Green Point in 1820, approved by Governor Donkin and completed in 1823. It seems to have been after 1827 that Schutte worked as a designer, he and J SKIRROW making designs for St Andrew's Church, Cape Town in 1827, modified by HW REVELEY between 1827 and 1829. Skirrow and Schutte also designed the Dutch Reformed Church at George in 1826 and Schutte later designed the Nieuwe Kerk in Bree Street, Cape Town (1833-1834). He died insolvent in Swellendam in 1844 and was buried in the Groote Kerk for which hewas the architect (1836-40). His son HF SCHUTTE and grandson were also connected with the building profession. Anreith's drawings, of which there were about 270, passed into Schutte's care and were sold as part of the effects of Schutte's great-grandson, SOH SCHUTTE, in Cape Town in 1912.

(SAAR Nov 1933:264-75; SESA 5:167, 218)

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Caledon Square Police: 1814 : 1824. Cape Town, Western Cape - Contractor
Customs House - Old Granary - Desmond and Leah Tutu House: 1814. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Customs House - Old Granary - Desmond and Leah Tutu House: 1814. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Contractor
Customs House and other buildings: 1823. Port Alfred, Eastern Cape - Contractor
Granary: 1814. Cape Town, Western Cape - Contractor
Groote Kerk: 1835-1836. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect *
Hanover House: after 1806. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
House Schutte: 1798. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Iziko Museum - Slave Lodge - Supreme Court: 1680 : 1807-1814 : 1926 : 1961-1964. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Contractor *
Lighthouse, Green Point: 1820 - 1824 : 1865. Green Point, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Masonic Hall - Lodge de Goede Hoop: 1801. Cape Town, Western Cape - Contractor *
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk: 1815. Central, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk: 1829-1832. Colesberg, Northern Cape - Architect
Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk: 1830-1842 : 1904. George, Western Cape - Architect 1830
Nieuwe Kerk: 1832-1847. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
St Andrew's Presbyterian Church: 1827-1829. Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect
Woutersen Vault: pre-1827 : 1991. Green Point, Cape Town, Western Cape - Architect

Books citing SCHUTTE

De Bosdari, C. 1954. Anton Anreith : Africa's first sculptor. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 40-42

Fransen, Hans. 2004. The old buildings of the Cape. A survey of extant architecture from before c1910 in the area of Cape Town - Calvinia - Colesberg - Uitenhage. Johannesburg & Cape Town: Jonathan Ball Publishers. pp 32, 34, 78, 485

Greig, Doreen. 1971. A Guide to Architecture in South Africa. Cape Town: Howard Timmins. pp 38, 41, 88, 92

Hartdegen, Paddy. 1988. Our building heritage : an illustrated history. South Africa: Ryll's Pub. Co. on behalf of the National Development Fund for the Building Industry. pp 60

Hislop, Jim. 2018. Behind the Castle. Cape Town: Jim Hislop /Cape Town Property Histories. pp 6, 21-23, 29, 31, 82-84, 87, 102-104, 106, 107, 108, 112

HSRC. 1968. Dictionary of South African Biography Volume I. Cape Town: Tafelberg for The Human Sciences Research Council. pp 701-702

Kesting, DP. 1978. Afrikaans Protestantse kerkbou : erfenis en uitdaging. Port Elizabeth: Unpublished PhD. pp

Laidler, P[ercy] W[ard]. [1933]. Tavern of the ocean, A : Being a social and historical sketch of Cape Town from its earliest days.. Cape Town: Maskew Miller. pp 92, 93

Langham-Carter, RR. 1979. Nineteenth century architects etc. in the Western Cape. Cape Town: Unpublished MS, UCT Library. pp

Lewcock, Ronald. 1963. Early Nineteenth Century Architecture in South Africa : a study of the interaction of two cultures, 1795-1837. Cape Town: AA Balkema. pp 16, 26, 27n, 54n, 70, 76, 80, 210, 228-229, 238, 254, 265, 266, 281, 286-287, 352, 354, 355, 373-374, 376, 421, 444

Menache, Philippe & Wolff, Helmut. 2021. die NG Kerk, ons erfenis : 'n fotoversameling van die argitektoniese skatte van 139 NG kerke in SA. Not identified: Not identified. pp 50

Oberholster, JJ. 1972. The historical monuments of South Africa. Cape Town: Rembrandt Van Rijn Foundation for Culture at the request of the National Monuments Council. pp 10

Pearse, Geoffrey Eastcott. 1957. Eighteenth century architecture in South Africa. London: Batsford. pp 32

Picton-Seymour, Désirée. 1989. Historical Buildings in South Africa. Cape Town: Struikhof Publishers. pp 19

Radford, D. 1979. The architecture of the Western Cape, 1838-1901. A study of the impact of Victorian aesthetics and technology on South African architecture. Johannesburg: Unpublished Ph.D thesis. Dept of Arch. University of the Witwatersrand. pp

Rennie, John for CPIA. 1978. The Buildings of Central Cape Town 1978. Volume Two : Catalogue. Cape Town: Cape Provincial Institute of Architects. pp

Richardson, Deirdré. 2001. Historic Sites of South Africa. Cape Town: Struik Publishers. pp 75

Walker, Michael. 2012. Early architects of Cape Town and their buildings (1820 - 1926) with postcard illustrations, The. St James: Michael Walker. pp 7-11