Generations of Livingstones & Moffats – The Zambia Connections

The Baton crosses the border into Zambia today (26.01.2014), which continues with the University’s network of Livingstone connections.

On 4 May 1873 Livingstone died from malaria and dysentery at Chief Chitambo’s village, in modern day Zambia. Livingstone’s heart was buried there beneath a tree in the village  by his expeditionary team. His body was then carried to the coast, a journey of nine months, before being returned by ship to the UK, where his body was buried in Westminster Abbey on 18 April 1874. Part of this tree, now held by The Hunterian, was acquired by Livingstone’s grandson, Dr Hubert Francis Wilson, a Church of Scotland missionary in Malawi  and Zambia. He later presented it to Anderson’s College, where his grandfather had studied – the medical side of the college becoming part of the University of Glasgow in 1947.

Piece of tree near which Livingstone’s heart was buried (GLAHM 112992)

Chitambo village was established as a missionary station with its local hospital, school, and church in 1908 by Livingstone’s nephew, Malcolm Moffat, who also translated the Bible into a Zambian tribal language. The Livingstone – Moffat family would continue to play a part in the wider development of Africa in the areas of politics, agriculture as well as medicine. Malcolm’s sons, born in Malawi and Zambia, all graduated from the University of Glasgow: John Smith Moffat, MA 1926, later became leader of the Liberal party in Northern Rhodesia, the Central African Party; Unwin Jackson Moffat, BSc 1926 returned to Chitambo, where he pursued a career as an agricultural officer and farmer; and Robert Laws Moffat, MA 1928, became an MP, representing African interest in the Federal Government of Northern Rhodesia, modern day Zambia.

Livingstone’s great-grandchildren also continued the Zambian and University of Glasgow links, for example David Livingstone Wilson, MBChB 1948, born at Chitambo, worked at the Lubwa Mission Hospital. Finally, the original mission hospital at Chitambo is still thriving and is run by a local Zambian doctor as mentioned in Livingstone’s Hospital: the Story of Chitambo (by Dr Marion Currie Taylor, who also happens to be the daughter of Glasgow graduate Hamilton Currie a medical missionary at Chitambo, where he died in 1974).



Filed under Africa, Commonwealth of Nations

2 responses to “Generations of Livingstones & Moffats – The Zambia Connections



    • kamcdonald

      Thank you for contacting us. Unfortunately we do not hold that information. Would suggest consulting Marion Currie Taylor’s “Livingstone’s Hospital: the Story of Chitambo” for further detail.
      Best wishes,

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