Explorers of the Nile

John Hanning Speke was first of a group of European Victorian-era explorers to discover the source of the river Nile, the longest river in the world. His discovery was contested by notably by Richard Burton and others but verified in 1877 years after his death in 1864 in a shooting accident. This explorer who was able to verify Speke’s maps was non other than Henry Stanley. Stanley having found David Livingston was able to proceed with him on a journey that established the veracity of Speke’s mapping and definitively proved Burton claims as false.

Richard Burton, John Speke, James Grant, David Livingstone, Henry Stanley, and Samuel Baker and his mistress, Florence von Sas.

A monument was belatedly erected in Kensington Gardens, London as a to tribute to Speke by the RoyalGeographical Society with funds raised by public subscription

In Memory of Speke Victoria Nyanza and the Nile 1864

Location of monument in Kensington Gardens

Speke Nile-Nyanza memorial on the corner of Lancaster Walk and Budges Walk

The triumphs and the tragedies of the Nile explorers during the Victorian era is wonderfully recounted in Tim Jeal’s book.

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