Cate, Steven Blaupot ten (1807-1884)

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Steven Blaupot ten Cate, a Dutch Mennonite minister and historiographer, the son of Isaak ten Cate, the Mennonite minister in Noordbroek (province of Groningen), and his wife Hester Blaupot, was born there on 29 January 1807. In Zaandam he had the privilege of instruction by Pastor Sjoerd Ebeles Wieling, and then entered the seminary at Amsterdam. In 1830 he became a candidate and was called to Akkrum, where he served as pastor until 1839, when he took charge of Zaandam-Oost. He also served this church nine years, resigning on 6 August 1848. On 1 January 1851 he was made a member of the provincial council and in the fall of 1851 he entered the second chamber of the States-General. His political activity, however, ended in 1859, when on 28 July he was appointed inspector of the public schools in the province of Groningen. He devoted himself to this task until 1880, when the decline of his vision gradually made work impossible. After retirement he lived four years at Hoogezand, where he died on 9 September 1884. In an obituary the statement was made, "In his death an active and capable man has passed away, who zealously used the talents God granted him and who rendered meritorious service to human society in many fields." The Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde made him a member in 1842, the Genootschap voor Künsten en Wetenschappen of the province of Utrecht in 1844, and the Genootschap voor Wetenschappen of the province of Zeeland in 1845; the government honored his services with the Knight's Cross of the Dutch Lion.

Ten Cate began his literary work very early. In 1825 the Maatschappij tot Nut van't Algemeen awarded him the silver medal for his competitive essay, "Biographies of Native Men and Women from the Southern Provinces." Twice, in 1827 and 1828, he received the accessit in competitions of the Academy at Liege, in the second instance with a magna cum laude. In 1834 he won another prize from the Maatschappij tot Nut van't Algemeen for a "History of the Trade and Navigation of Holland," and in 1841 from the Zaandam branch of the same society for his "Treatise on the Stimulation and Spread of Charity in Zaandam." This essay reveals his knowledge of and service in the field of social welfare, which are best presented in his prize-winning essay, Bene duidelijke en bepaalde aanwijzing van de grondslagen, op welk een doelmatig ingericht armwezen in ons vaderland zou moeten rusten, which was crowned in 1850 with a gold medal. He had already published a preparatory study, "De Staatszoorg voor de armen." In 1851 he published the Tijdschrijt voor het armwezen and as a member of the Chamber he worked for the passage of the law of 1854 for the care of the poor.

Meanwhile he had already established his reputation as a historiographer, especially in Mennonite history. In 1832 he published Oud-Nederland uit den grootsten nood gered, a reminder of the eighty years' warfare for the liberation of Holland and the year of misfortune, 1672. In 1834 appeared Over Doop en Doopsgezinden. Handboekje; in 1839 his volume on Friesland, in 1842 two volumes on Groningen, Overijssel, and East Friesland; and finally in 1847 two volumes on Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, and Gelderland. These works are of the greatest importance for the understanding of Dutch Mennonite history, especially since ten Cate's work is very scholarly; he took pains to gather and incorporate materials from many sources. These books are said to have been "much plundered and little praised" (Doopsgezinde Bijdragen 1904, 142). In between he published in 1844 his research on the Waldensian origin of the Dutch Anabaptists, Geschiedkundig onderzoek naar den Waldenzisehen oorsprong der Nederlandsche Doopsgezinden (Amsterdam, 1844), and had become involved in a friendly dispute with Pastor B. ter Haar, of the Reformed Church in Amsterdam and author of a history of the Reformation, in the defense of his position, viz., that a Waldensian origin can be proved. Both defended their views, and ten Cate did this again in his history of the Dutch Mennonites (see above) as well as in an open letter which Prof. Samuel Müller put into the Doopsgezind Jaarboekje in 1850, "Brief van S. Blaupot ten Cate aan N.N. over de oorsprong van de Doopsgezinden en hunne betrekking tot de Wederdoopers." In 1844, too, after J. H. Halbertsma had published his book on the Doopsgezinden, ten Cate wrote Gedachten over de Getals-vermindering bij de Doopsgez. in Nederland . . . (Amsterdam, 1844).

Besides these, the following writings were published by him: Onderzoek naar den invloed van den Franschen volksaard op den tydgeest van Europa (1833); Grondslagen voor de Vereeniging tot plaatselijk nut te Zaandam (Zaandam, 1841); Rede ter gedachtenis van het 300-jarig bestaun van eene Doopsgezinde gemeente te Zaandam (Zaandam, 1843) and a booklet for catechetical instruction, Over Doop en Doopsgezinden (Leeuwarden, 1834, 2d edition 1835).


Hege, Christian and Christian Neff. Mennonitisches Lexikon, 4 vols. Frankfurt & Weierhof: Hege; Karlsruhe: Schneider, 1913-1967: v. I, 335 f.

Levensberichten der afgestorven medeleden van de Maatschappij der Nederlandsche Letterkunde te Leiden. (Leiden, 1885): 23-46.

Visscher, H. and L. A. van Langeraad. Het protestantsche vaderland: biographisch woordenboek van protestantsche godgeleerden in Nederland, 8 vols. Utrecht, 1903-1918: v. II, 26-29.

Author(s) Jacob Loosjes
Nanne van der Zijpp
Date Published 1953

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MLA style

Loosjes, Jacob and Nanne van der Zijpp. "Cate, Steven Blaupot ten (1807-1884)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1953. Web. 17 Apr 2024.,_Steven_Blaupot_ten_(1807-1884)&oldid=144933.

APA style

Loosjes, Jacob and Nanne van der Zijpp. (1953). Cate, Steven Blaupot ten (1807-1884). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 17 April 2024, from,_Steven_Blaupot_ten_(1807-1884)&oldid=144933.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 1, pp. 526-527. All rights reserved.

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