- Dr David Livingstone (1813-1873)
Born in Blantyre in 1813, David Livingstone was the son of a shopkeeper. He started work at the age of 10 but nevertheless managed to educate himself and to study medicine and theology at Glasgow University to become a missionary doctor. He arrived in Bechuanaland in 1841 and married the daughter of another missionary there. Livingstone began to explore uncharted areas of Africa and while mapping the upper Zambesi River he discovered the Victoria Falls>.
Coming across the horrors of the slave trade, his books on African exploration were influential in bringing it to an end. It was on an expedition which started in 1865, after he had been in the bush for several years that H M Stanley> of the New York Herald set out to find him in 1872 and greeted him with the immortal words "Dr Livingstone, I presume?"
Livingstone almost died several times from disease and attacks by wild animals but eventually succumbed from fever in 1873, having refused to return to Britain. His embalmed body was brought back by his black servants and was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Livingstone's birthplace in Blantyre (pictured above) is now the David Livingstone National Memorial>
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