Record

CodeNA9822
Dates1813-1873
Person NameLivingstone; Dr; David (1813-1873); Explorer and missionary
SurnameLivingstone
ForenamesDavid
PreTitleDr
EpithetExplorer and missionary
ActivityDavid Livingstone was born in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, in 1813, and worked from an early age at the local cotton mill. He showed an aptitude for study and, with a view to missionary work, he managed to study medicine at Glasgow University before joining the London Missionary Society. He first arrived in Africa on their behalf in 1841. There he met and married Mary Moffat, the daughter of Robert Moffat, another missionary. In the course of his time in Africa he made three great journeys of exploration and mission, the first from 1841 to 1856, when he saw Victoria Falls for the first time, the second from 1858 to 1862, during which Mary died and he explored the Shire Valley, and the third from 1866 to his death in 1873. It was during the last journey, collecting information on river systems in East Africa, that he was located by Henry Morton Stanley, a Welsh-born American journalist, who brought his work to prominence. He deplored the slave trade and did his best throughout his time in Africa to harm it, but otherwise carried out little missionary work, devoting more of his time to exploration. He also studied and valued the African tribes he met, learning their languages and associating with them. He died at Chitambo (now in Zambia) in 1873, and his body was carried to the coast of what is now Tanzania to be shipped back to Britain and buried in Westminster Abbey the following year.
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