Monday, 1 August 2016

Sir Henry Morton Stanley

Yesterday, Big Brother (aka GB) took Partner-who-loves-tea and I to Denbigh in North Wales.

One of the town's most famous sons was Sir Henry Morton Stanley GCB (born John Rowlands; 28 January 1841 – 10 May 1904) was a Welsh journalist and explorer who was famous for his exploration of central Africa and his search for missionary and explorer David Livingstone. He was born in Denbigh, in a house close to the castle walls.  Upon finding Livingstone, Stanley reportedly asked, "Dr. Livingstone, I presume?"

Stanley is also known for his search for the source of the Nile, his work in and development of the Congo Basin region in association with King Leopold II of the Belgians, and commanding the Emin Pasha Relief Expedition of 1886 to 1889.

This latter was one of the last major European expeditions into the interior of Africa in the nineteenth century, ostensibly to the relief of Emin Pasha, General Charles Gordon's besieged governor of Equatoria, threatened by Mahdist forces. The expedition was led by Stanley (seated in the centre above).  The expedition came to be celebrated for its ambition in crossing "darkest Africa" and notorious for the deaths of so many of its members and for the disease unwittingly left in its wake.

Stanley was knighted in 1899.


  1. How puzzling - how did John Rowlands turn into Henry Morton Stanley? Did he change his first name and surname for a specific reason, by marriage, or something like that?
    I wonder how many people have taken pictures shaking hands with the statue :-)

    1. Henry Morton Stanley was born John Rowlands on 28 January 1841 in Denbigh, Wales. His parents were not married, and he was brought up in a workhouse. In 1859, he left for New Orleans. There he was befriended by a merchant, Henry Stanley, whose name he took. Stanley went on to serve on both sides in the American Civil War and then worked as a sailor and journalist.

  2. In school, we never really learned much more about Stanley and Livingstone beyond their famous meeting. It's nice to learn a bit more about Sir Stanley.

  3. Is there anyone anywhere who went to school in a commonwealth country who hasn't heard that famous introduction? I have always loved it and I think your photos of 'meeting' were great!

  4. I love that statue and how you can shake his hand!

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  6. Thay's weird I seem to have lost a comment - I was sure two people asked about his name change!


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