David Livingstone

David Livingstone (1813-73)

John Mossman (1817-1890)

1875-9; erected 1879

Bronze statue on a granite pedestal with bronze reliefs

Cathedral Square (originally in George Square), Glasgow

This fine statue of Livingstone, standing by a covered tree-stump, with binoculars round his neck, a Bible in one hand and his hat in the other, and a few pieces of equipment at his feet, looks much more at home in its present leafy position than it could possibly have done in busy George Square. Livingstone, who started work in a Lanarkshire cotton mill when he was only ten years old, studied under Thomas Graham at the Andersonian Institution, but in the same year (1840) that he took his physician's degree he was sent out to southern Africa by the London Missionary Society. Here he set about opening up new territory. As is well known, he crossed the Kalahari desert, and on a later expedition discovered Victoria Falls — a statue of him overlooks it — and he also discovered Lake Nyasa during a 1858-64 expedition. He died on an expedition begun in 1865 "partly in conjunction with Sir Henry Morton Stanley" (McKenzie 62). The relief panels on the pedestal show Livingstone in action, reading the Bible to an African family, finding his way through the bush, etc.

  • Close-up of Livingstone