Caspar Voght

Caspar Voght (* 17. November 1752 in Hamburg; † 20. March 1839 in Hamburg), late Caspar realm baron von Voght (contemporarily mostly baron Caspar von Voght), was a hamburgischer buyer and social reformer. Together with his business partner and friend George Heinrich Sieveking he led one of the largest trading firms of Hamburg in the second half 18. Century. On numerous journeys it crossed Europe completely. Among its largest achievements the reform of the hamburgischen poor and Gefängniswesens ranks in the year 1788. Since 1785 he dedicated strengthens and constructed in Flottbek before the gates of Hamburg a agricultural Mustergut to agricultural and landscape-gardening projects .

Table of contents

origin, youth and ‚Grand route `by Europe

Caspar Voght was first senator daughter Elizabeth Jencquel Hamburg of altogether three children Hamburg buyer and later senator Caspar Voght ( the older one , *1707 in Beverstedt with Bremen † 1781 in Hamburg) and that (* 26. September 1723). Its father had occurred around 1721 as an apprentice the trading firm Jürgen Jencquels and the enterprise specialized in the hamburgischen Portugal trade starting from 1732 for sixteen years in Lisbon had represented. After its return Voghts father had created a its own, on linen - and silk trade specialized trading firm in Hamburg and ascended later to the senator of the Hanseatic city.

At the age of twelve years Caspar Voght got sick heavily with the smallpox and was from now on drawn of remarkable smallpox scars. Differently as his friend George Heinrich Sieveking, he than young person in the Kontor of its father learned which to know, it felt more drawn to the literature, politics and science time of its life and could gain from the occupation of a buyer only little. When its father at the age from twenty years wanted to send it to the training to Lisbon, he used sent the fears of his nut/mother, that had lost 1755 two of its brothers with the large earthquake of Lisbon in the year, and went 1772 instead on an education journey through completely Europe ('Grand route '). Its way led it among other things across Amsterdam, London, Paris and Cádiz to Madrid, where it attached new commercial contacts for the enterprise of its father. Over Southern France it continued to travel to Switzerland, met there Lavater and Haller and made in Ferney with Geneva the acquaintance Voltaires. Over Turin, Milan, Parma and Bologna he arrived to Rome, where he Pope Pius VI. one introduced. After excursions after Pompeji and Neapel and a short stay in Venice Voght traveled after Bergamo, where he manufactured contacts for the business of his father to the there silk manufacturers. Over Vienna, Dresden, Berlin and potsdam he returned finally 1775 again to its hometown Hamburg.

commercial activity and structure of the Musterguts in Flottbek

Voghts Landhaus in Klein-Flottbeck, Stahlstich von L. Wolf aus dem Jahre 1805
Voghts country house in small Flottbeck, steel pass of L. Wolf from the year 1805
with death Caspar Voghts of the older one in the year 1781 resumed Voght together with George Heinrich Sieveking the business of the father under the designation „Caspar Voght and cost “. They together used the independence of the former English colonies for the setting up of firm business relations with trading firms in the ports of the North American east coast. On the 29. March 1783 dated official congratulation letters of the hamburgischen senate to the congress of Philadelphia brought Johann Abraham de Boor, a Hamburg citizen, who traveled on behalf the trading firm „Caspar Voght & cost “to overseas.

Voghts interest applied however more for the agriculture than the occupation of buyer. Already in its youth it had become enthusiastic for the garden of its father in Hamm, arranged by a French landscape gardner. As it in later years it became conscious that its slope was to landscape architecture and to the horticulture more than one hobby and the business life began to repel it ever more (briefly before its death well-known Voght in a letter: „As the trade my imagination any longer not to employ could do, disgusted it me on “), left it the line of the trading firm to a large extent its business partner Sieveking. At 1785 Voght began with the purchase of properties in small Flottbek before the gates Altonas. After a journey to England in the winter 1785/86, where he had made himself familiar with there landscape architecture and for the time at that time the modern agriculture methods, it began the plant of a Mustergutes and a nursery garden on its Hamburg Ländereien (ornamented farm, a landscape garden with agricultural use - the today's Jenischpark formed his park you midi). In addition it got two art gardners from European rank with the Scot James Booth and the Frenchman Joseph Ramée to Flottbek. 1787 introduced Voght potatoes, which had been imported up to then mainly from the Netherlands, as arable crop. 1797 it supported its manager Lukas Andreas Staudinger during the mechanism one „Landwirthschaftlichen of tutorial establishment “in large Flottbek, the first agricultural technical school in the German-speaking countries. Most prominent pupil of this mechanism was Johann Heinrich of Thünen, which corresponded later also with Voght particularly over questions of the soil statics (=Bodenfruchtbarkeit).

Voght as Reformator of the arm nature

Idealisierte Ansicht des Hamburger Schul- und Arbeitshauses (1800). Im Vordergrund auf Sockeln eingraviert die Namen der bedeutenden Hamburger Sozialpädagogen: Bartels, Büsch, Voght, Günther, Sieveking (Stahlstich von L. Wolf, 1805)
idealized opinion Hamburg training and work house (1800). In the foreground on bases the names of the important Hamburg social paedagogues engrave: Bartels, Büsch, Voght, Günther, Sieveking (steel pass of L. Wolf, 1805)
1770 had already come Voght with the Gefängniswesen into contact, when it had led the English Gefängnisreformator John Howard on behalf and as deputies of its father by that Hamburg penintentiaries. Since that time it had a large interest in questions of the poor and Gefängniswesens. Together with the director/conductor of the commercial academy Johann George Büsch and the lawyer Johann Arnold Günther Voght initiates the establishment of one in the year 1788 „general institute for arm “and reforms thereby that Hamburg arm natures. Basis of the reform was the organization of the city into individual care districts, whose inhabitant was cared for by approximately 200 honorary arm male nurses. The mechanism guaranteed the medical supply arms, their support during the pregnancy and relieving as well as instruction and work for the children to arms. Contrary to the church arm care operated so far under moral-moral aspects the reform set with the concrete economic needs of the concerning. The costs of the enterprise were applied from donations in churches and from weekly taking place arm collections. In the consequence dropped the number of the passengers Hamburg penintentiaries drastically.

Voghts of successes with the fight of the poverty worked far beyond Hamburg. 1801 called it the emperor to Vienna, in order from its measures report themselves and suggestions for a reform of the Viennese of arm nature submit to let. For its earnings/services it lent the title of a realm baron to Voght and raised it thereby into the nobility. During a stay in Berlin in the winter Voght on requests of the Prussian king Friedrich William III. wrote 1802/03. Appraisal over citizens of Berlin the arm nature. In the course of a mehrmonatigen stay in Paris in the year 1807 appraisal provided that over the condition Paris poor, orphan and relieving houses and prisons on behalf the French ministry of the Interior. In addition it reformed the arm nature in Marseille and Lyon and sent its reform concepts to Lisbon and postage. Still at the age of 86 years it published 1838 to the fifty-year old anniversary that Hamburg institute for arm, a writing with the title „collecting from the history of the institute for arm during its 50jährigen duration “.

already in the year

1793 Voght had surrendered the late years all business with exception of the America trade to Sieveking. The trade depression, which shook Hamburg 1799, met also its enterprise heavily, so that it decided in the consequence to the dissolution of the trading firm, what over several years dragged on. During the time of the continental barrier it undertook a journey of several years again by Switzerland, France and Italy. It became acquainted with in of Paris emperors Napoleon and its first Mrs. Josephine . After its return after Flottbek it lived mainly on the income of its agriculture. After the sales of the Musterguts at the banker and senator Martin Johann Jenisch in the year 1828 he lived the 1799 deceased business partner George Heinrich Sieveking in its house, later lived he with the widow of his. To 20. March 1839 died Caspar Voght aged at the age of 86 years.


  • Caspar Voght: Life history, hrsg. of Charlotte Schoell Glass, Hamburg 2001, ISBN 3-7672-1344-3 - the memoirs Voghts cover the years from 1752 to 1811, thus fragment remained.
  • Anneliese Tecke (Hrsg.): Caspar Voght and its Hamburg friend circle. Letters from an active life, volume 1: Letters from the years 1792 to 1821 at Magdalena Pauli, geb. Poel, works on from briefly Detlev Möller, Hamburg 1959 - so far only one volume appeared.
  • Caspar Voght: Collection of landwirthschaftlicher writings, Theil 1, Hamburg 1825
  • Caspar Voght: Flotbeck and its order of this year, with regard to by the same intended experiences: a signpost/guide for the landwirthschaftlichen visitors of the same with attached Flotbecker garden attempts in the year 1821, Altona 1822


  • Gustav Poel: Pictures from past time, 2 volumes, Hamburg 1884 and 1887
  • Otto Ruediger: Caspar of Voght. A Hamburgi life picture, Hamburg 1901
  • briefly Detlev Möller: Caspar v. Voght, citizen and nobleman, 1752-1839, in: Magazine of the association for Hamburgi history 43 (1956), S. 166-195
  • Heinrich Sieveking: Caspar Voght, the creator of the Jenisch park, a mediator between German and French literature, in: Magazine of the association for Hamburgi history 40 (1949), S. 89-123
  • George Heinrich Sieveking: The action house Voght and Sieveking, in: Magazine of the association for Hamburgi history 17 (1912), S. 54-128
  • Gerhard Ahrens: Caspar Voght and its Mustergut Flottbek: English agriculture in Germany at the end 18. Century, Hamburg 1969
  • Susanne Woelk: “The foreigner among the friends. Biographic studies to Caspar of Voght ", Hamburg: Feasting man, 2000, 293 S.

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