The first English-speaking settler in South Africa.
The life of Robert Hart was contemporaneous with the whole history of the Cape Colony under British rule, and to write a complete history of his life would be to write, in a, great measure, a history of the colony. Had he kept a diary, it might not only have been interesting and instructive, but could have been taken as a text book to the history of the Colony, as he came to the Cape in the year 1795 with the British troops under Sir Home Popham, and was at the first taking of the Cape.
(John Bond (They Were South Africans, Oxford University Press, 1956): The name of Robert Hart is almost unknown. That is strange because Hart, as far as I can discover, was the first English-speaking South African. He came to South Africa in its darkest period when the Dutch East India Company’s rule was breaking down completely. His whole life, from the day he landed in 1795, was devoted one way or another to shoring up the shaky structure of the Cape.)