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Parts 1 & 2: Original Manuscripts from the Royal Commonwealth SocietyLibrary at Cambridge University Library



T O Fraser: Boer War Diary, 1899-1900 (South Africa)
It has not been possible to trace any further details concerning T O Fraser.

David Livingstone: 6 letters, 1858-1859 (Written to Sir Frederick Grey (1805-1878) relating to exploration in Eastern Africa)
David Livingstone (1813-1873) was born in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, and started work in a cotton factory at the age of ten. Through a process of self-education and evening classes he qualified for university and took Greek, Divinity and Medical classes at Glasgow University. Here he came into contact with Lyon Playfair and William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) and offered his services to the London Missionary Society. In 1838 he travelled to London to gain further medical and missionary training. He gained a formal medical qualification from Glasgow University and was ordained as a missionary in 1840. Under the direction of Dr Robert Moffat, Livingstone chose South Africa as his missionary field.

He arrived in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in May 1841 and commenced a series of long journeys, 1841-1844, into the interior which opened up fresh possibilities for missionary work. He married Mary Moffat, daughter of Robert Moffat, in 1844 and they lived in a variety of missionary residences. She helped him in his work, serving as a teacher, making clothes, candles and soap, and running the mission station. She also gave birth to and raised three children. Livingstone continued his peregrinations exploring the Transvaal, Botswana, the Kalahari desert, and other areas, gaining recognition from the Royal Geographical Society in 1849. In 1852 he returned to Cape Town and sent his wife and children back to live in England. In 1853 he mounted an expedition up the Zambezi river, through west central Africa, eventually reaching the west coast in Angola in 1854. His description of his journey earned him a Gold Medal from the RGS. He declined passage home, preferring to return with his Makalolo guides and helpers. He set forth in late 1854 and on 13 November 1855 he became the first European to view the 'smoke that thunders', which he named the Victoria Falls. He continued eastwards, reaching Tete in Mozambique in May 1856. He returned to London in December 1856, enjoying a heroic reception and many honours. He parted company with the London Missionary Society in 1857, and earned substantial sums from the publication of his Missionary Travels.

He was appointed Consul of Quilimane on the East Coast of Africa in February 1858 and used much of his money to build a paddle steamer with a light draught to mount a second expedition. He was accompanied by the naturalist and physician John Kirk, Richard Thornton, George Rae and Charles Livingstone, his brother. He was rejoined with the Makalolo tribesman in Tete in September 1858 and proceeded to explore the Zambezi and Shire rivers. Despite the failure of the steamer, between 1858 and 1863 Livingstone and Kirk suceeded in reaching Lake Shirwa and Lake Nyasa (now Lake Malawi) and returning to the Victoria Falls. Livingstone also recorded the activities of slave-traders and came into conflict with them. Mary Livingstone joined her husband in January 1862 and accompanied him on explorations in a new steamer. Tragically she contracted a fever and died in April 1862. Kirk returned to England in 1863 and Livingstone followed in 1863. His second book, The Zambezi and Its Tributaries was an assured success.

The RGS and the Foreign Office financed a third expedition in 1866 to Lake Nyasa and Lake Tanganyika, where Livingstone was laid low by sickness and found it impossible to send messages to his backers. Reports of his death provoked a search for Livingstone, successfully concluded by Henry Morton Stanley in 1871. The two explorers started a circumnavigation of Lake Tanganyika. Stanley tried unsuccessfully to get Livingstone to return to England, but Livingstone was obsessed with the idea of finding the source of the Nile. He parted company with Stanley and travelled South East to what is modern Zambia. He died in Ilala on 1 May 1873 and his body was borne by his faithful followers to Zanzibar and thence to England.

Charles Du Val: The News of the Camp nos 1-40, issued during the Siege of Praetoria
(with photographs) (South Africa)
Charles Du Val (1846-1889) was born in Manchester. He was articled to a law firm but soon left it for the stage, making his professional debut in Dublin in 1870 as a monologue entertainer. After some success, he went to South Africa with a touring show in 1879. After visiting Cape Town he went to Kimberley, through the Free State to Natal and arrived in the Transvaal late in 1880 just as the Boers proclaimed the restoration of their Republic and took up arms, after three years of British rule. Du Val enlisted in the Pretoria Carabinners and, with most of the British forces, was besieged in Pretoria, where he joined forces with C W Decker, the proprietor of the Transvaal Argus to produce the newspaper News of the Camp, published thrice weekly from December 1880 until peace with self-government for Transvaal in April 1881. Du Val spent a few more months in South Africa, returned to England and wrote a book on his experiences. He returned to life on the stage, taking a tour to India, Ceylon and the Far East. In 1888 he set sail for Cape Town on the start of a World Tour. At the end of the year Du Val had some kind of breakdown in Colombo. He was returning home when he was lost overboard from the S.S. Oceana in the Red Sea in February 1889.

News of the Camp
Royal Commonwealth Society Library Notes no. 178, January 1972.
Allen, Vivien, Du Val tonight! The Story of a showman. Worcester: Square One Publications, 1990.
Du Val, Charles, With a show through Southern Africa: and personal reminiscences of the Transvaal. London: Tinsley, 1882.

William Craig Napier: Memorandum Book, 1838 (South Africa)
Capt. (later Colonel) William Craig Emilius Napier (1818-1903) (of the 25th Regiment, later the Kings own Scottish Borderers) accompanied his father Sir George Napier 1784-1855) to the Cape on the latter's appointment as Governor in 1837. Sir George served as Governor until 1844, during the period of the Great Trek. He annexed Natal in 1843.

Maxwell, W.A., The Napier Journal. Royal Commonwealth Society Library Notes, no. 11, 1957.


Sir John Hawley Glover:
Letters and Papers, May 1863 - May 1872
(West Africa/Ashanti)
Sir John Hawley Glover (1829-1885) was a Captain in the Royal Navy, who later served as the Administrator of Lagos and Governor of Newfoundland. He was severely wounded in Burma in 1853 when a ball struck him under the right eye and exited by the right ear. From 1855 to 1857 he commanded the Otter, a small steamer, and joined William Baiikies's expedition to the Niger. He returned in 1861. In April 1863 he was appointed Administrator of Lagos, then Colonial Secretary for the same territory. He saw special service in the Ashanti War of 1873, raising 16,000-20,000 native troops. After peace was declared in 1874 he was appointed Governor of Newfoundland, in which post he served 1874-1881 and again 1883-1885.


Sir John Hawley Glover:
Letters and Papers, May 1872 - November 1872
(West Africa/Ashanti)


Sir John Hawley Glover:
Letters and Papers, January 1873 - March 1878 + undated folder
(West Africa/Ashanti)


Sir John Hawley Glover:
Orders - Ashanti, 1873 - 1874
Letterbook containing documents relating to the Ashanti War. (West Africa/Ashanti)


Sir John Hawley Glover:
Sir S M Rowe's papers on Glover's expedition, 1873
Letterbook, 6 August 1873 - 6 Sept 1875
- Papers by Deputy Commissioner Goldsworthy on the Volta Expedition
- Diary of the Ashanti War, 11 Sept 1873 - 19 June 1874. Author unknown
(West Africa/Ashanti)

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