Faure - the famous and infamous

Some members of the Faure family will be remembered in history and for various reasons. Some of them are mentioned here.

Here in South Africa:

Dr Abraham FAURE

Abraham Faure (1795-1875) was born in Stellenbosch as one of 11 children.

He studied Theology at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands). Upon his return in 1818 he was appointed minister of the Dutch Reformed Church (NGKerk) in Graaff-Reinet. By 1822 he was transferred to the Grootte Kerk in Cape Town where he served almost until his death in 1875.

Amonst his contributions and achievements in the area of theology were:
• Started a missionary school in Graaff-Reinet for the local children and for the slaves. Established a mission-station for the bushmen (together with Andries Stockenstrom) north of the Orange River.
• He was instrumental in bringing about the first Synod in South Africa (Cape Town, 1824). He served as Actuary (1829-67), archivist (1829-67), Synodal Scribe (1842-62), and Treasurer of the Synodal Fund and the Minister-Widows Fund.
• He created the first church library in South Africa and with Thomas Pringle, he started the first magazine in the country. The 'Het Nederduitsch Zuid-Afrikaansche Tijdschrift' (1824 - 1843)
• Abraham started a Church paper in October 1838 which is today known as 'Die Kerkbode'. He was the editor of the paper until 1869.

In the field of education, he also made a mark, including:
• Abraham was instrumental in bringing into being the South African College in 1829 where he also lectured for 3 years. The South African College in the course of time developed into both the South African College Schools (SACS) and the University of Cape Town (UCT).
• Abraham pleaded to the British Minister of Colonies, Count Bathurst, for the establishment of a Theological Seminary in the Cape which culminated in the establishment of the Theological Seminary at Stellenbosch in 1859.

Abraham was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Theology by Rutgers College in New Brunswich (NY) in 1862.


Sir Pieter FAURE

Pieter Hendrik Faure (1848-1914), was born at 'Vergenoegd' and was a Solicitor and Politician.

He took up law as a profession and opened a law practice in Paarl in 1880. By 1889 he became a Member of Parliament and in 1890 Cecil John Rhodes appointed him as Minister of Native Affairs. He filled the post of Colonial Secretary in Rhodes' second government (1894-1896). In 1896 he was made the Minister of Agriculture until 1898 and engaged in the task of ridding the country of Rinderpest. From 1900 he again served as Minister of Agriculture.

He was Colonial Secretary from 1902 to 1904 and from 1904 to 1907 served on the Commission of Enquiry into War Damages. He represented the Western Province on the Legislative Council from 1908 to 1910.

He was knigted in 1895.


Rev David FAURE

David Pieter Faure (1842-1916) was born in Stellenbosch. His very interesting autobiography 'My life and Times' (Juta 1907) tells the story of a man that had an interesting life and made a mark.

After school in Cape Town, he studied theology at the University of Leiden where he came under the influence of the Modern Theology and became a free thinker. His views clashed with the more Orthodox views followed by the Dutch Reformed church. He began a series of lectures in Cape Town which led to the formation of the Free Protestant (now Unitarian) Church in 1868 where he served as minister for 29 years.

In 1884, he accompanied the delegation of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, led by President Paul Kruger, as interpreter, to London for the signing of the London Convention.

As Freemason, he held various offices between 1870 and 1897, including Provicial Grand Master en Deputy Grand Master. David was a hunter, a fisherman, a cricketer, a billiard player of repute and a keen chess player.


Col Hannes FAURE

Johannes Morkel Faure (1917-1995) grew up on the farm 'Kahlenberg' near Faure. He and his brother Hendrik Morkel ('Hennie') inherited the farm and very successfully continued the family farming business.

The need for some action interfered. While Hennie stayed on the farm, Hannes found action in the air. First, as a 'Shaka' volunteer in the Winter War, where he proved to be a accomplished and succesful pilot. He then joined the Air Force in 1941. He flew in combat over North Africa, Malta, Sicily and Italy. Ace pilot, now Lt Col., Hannes had the honour of leading the SA Air Force at the Victory Parade, London, June 1946.

After the war, Hannes returned to the position of commander of SAAF Langebaan but at the end of 1950 returned to life as a farmer. He died in February 1995.


.... and in other parts of the world:

Pres Felix FAURE

One of the more famous was Felix François Faure (30/01/1841 – 16/02/1899), the 7th President of the 3rd Republic of France, who served as President from 1895 until 1899.

During his term as President, the Exposition Universelle (World Fair of 1900) was planned, and many of the attractions of todays Paris, like the Eifel Tower, Grand Palais, Petit Palais and Pont Alexandre III was built.

His straight talk style made him unpopular at times. He once told the automobile manufacturers that: "Your cars are seriously ugly and they stink"

What Felix was rememberd for was not any of the above, but rather his last afternoon in office with his mistress of the time. Having a mistress was not frowned on, like many a French gentleman would attest, but unfortunately for Felix, the moment was too great and he did not survive.


Gabriel FAURÉ

Gabriel Fauré (12/05/1845 – 04/11/1924), the composer, was perhaps the best known Faure.

He started his music carreer at the age of nine when he was sent to a music college in Paris where he met one of his teachers and eventual life-long friend, Camille Saint-Saëns.

Gabriel was organist and teacher (one of his students was Maurice Ravel) and was also appointed the director of the Paris Conservatoire.

A highly regarded and well respected man.



Edgar Faure (18/08/1908 – 30/03/1988) studied law in Paris and became a member of the Bar at 21, the youngest lawyer in France to do so at the time.

In 1942 Edgar fled to Algiers where he was made head of the legislative department of the Provisional Government of the Republic of France. At the end of the war he served as French counsel for the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials.

By 1946 he was elected to Parlaiment where he served in various ministerial posts, including Prime Minister for 2 terms between 1952 and 1956.


Maurice FAURE

Maurice Faure (02/01/1922 – 06/03/2014) was a member of Parlaiment from 1951 to 1983 and a minister in several French governments. Maurice served as a Senator from 1983 to 1988 and was appointed to the Constitutional Council of France by President François Mitterrand.

He retired to the village Cahors in the south of France where he served as Mayor for 25 years.

In 1957 Maurice co-signed the Treaty of Rome (which resulted in the formation of the European Union) on behalf of France.


Patrick FAURE

Patrick Faure (12/05/1946 - ), son of Maurice (above) was a French businessman.

He joined Renault in 1977 and soon became regional manager. By 1981 he was made manager of Renault Austria and by 1982 Renault UK. In 1985, he was named head of the Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. In January 1986 he was appointed member of Renault's Board of Directors and President of Renault Sport.

Patrick was appointed Chairman and CEO of Renault Sport in 1991. In 1998, he became Chairman and CEO of Renault. In 2001, he was named Executive Vice President. He retired from Renault in 2005.



One of the infamous hails from Australia. Keith George Faure (1951 – ) van Norlane, Victoria, is an Australian career criminal. He is currently serving life imprisonment for, among others, multiple murders, manslaughter, armed robbery and more.

Kieth is from well known criminal stock. His two younger brothers, Leslie and Noel, are also serving long-term sentences for murder and man-slaugter.

But being infamous can also bring fame. Kieth, or rather his actions, was the inspiration for the film 'Chopper' (Australia, 2000) - where his character is portrayed and the TV series 'Underbelly' (Australia 2008) - a dramatic impression of the Melbourne underworld and in particular Kieth's criminal life.


If you know of other members of the Faure family that you feel qualify to be included on this list, kindly let me have the details.