David Livingstone, the Victorian explorer, died at the village of Chitamba in Africa in May, 1873. His embalmed body, together with his journal, was carried over a thousand miles by two of his attendants and was then returned by sea to England for burial. The P & O ship Malwa bearing his remains arrived in Southampton in April 1874. The ceremony to mark the arrival was arranged by the mayor, Edwin Jones. The body was landed at the Royal Pier and transported by horse drawn hearse to the Terminus Station and thence by special train to London. The procession accompanying the hearse went along High Street, Bernard Street and Oxford Street to the station.

The Southampton Times declared that “Southampton did quite as much honour to itself as it did to the memory of Dr Livingstone by the reception which it gave to his remains”. He was buried at Westminster Abbey after lying in state at the Royal Geographical Society headquarters.

In the 1880s Livingstone Road in Portswood was named in his honour.

David Livingstone

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The remains of David Livingstone are taken in a civic procession from the docks to the Railway Station. From a drawing in the Illustrated London News, 25 April 1874.

Further reading:

Public Life in Southampton, Volume 1, by James Lemon, p72-74. (HS/l)
More Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p161-2. (HS/h)
Illustrated London News, April 25, 1874.


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