A world of words
David Livingstone, born at Blantyre, south of Glasgow on 19 March 1813, was a missionary and one of the greatest European explorers of Africa.
In 1836, he began studying medicine and theology in Glasgow and decided to become a missionary doctor.In 1841, he was posted to the edge of the Kalahari Desert in southern Africa.
Livingstone became convinced of his mission to reach new peoples in the interior of Africa and introduce them to Christianity, as well as freeing them from slavery.
In 1855, Livingstone discovered a spectacular waterfall which he named ‘Victoria Falls’.He reached the mouth of the Zambezi on the Indian Ocean in May 1856, becoming the first European to cross the width of southern Africa.
Returning to Britain, where he was now a national hero, Livingstone did many speaking tours and published his best-selling ‘Missionary Travels and Researches in South Africa’.
During his last expedition, after nothing was heard from him for many months, Henry Stanley, an explorer and journalist, set out to find Livingstone. This resulted in their meeting near Lake Tanganyika in October 1871 during which Stanley uttered the famous phrase: ‘Dr Livingstone I presume?‘
‘Yes,’ said he,‘I feel thankful that I am here to welcome you.’
His health had been poor for many years and he died on 1 May 1873. His body was taken back to England and buried in Westminster Abbey.