This Week in Christian History: Diet of Worms, Father Damien, David Livingstone

David Livingstone Interred at Westminster Abbey — April 18, 1874

An 1864 photo of nineteenth century British explorer, missionary, and abolitionist David Livingstone (1813-1873). | (Photo: Public Domain)

This week marks the anniversary of when famed nineteenth-century Scottish missionary David Livingstone was officially interred at London's Westminster Abbey.

An explorer and abolitionist, Livingstone had died the previous year in Africa. A. P. Stanley, then Dean of Westminster was able to give him burial at the nave of the building, near James Rennell, founder of the Society for African Exploration.

"Before the ceremony a short service was performed by the Scottish Presbyterian minister Mr Hamilton. Dean Stanley conducted the funeral and Jacob Wainwright, who had escorted the body from Africa, threw a palm branch into the grave," noted the Abbey.

"Queen Victoria sent a wreath to be placed on the coffin and this was buried with him. The very large congregation mainly consisted of Nonconformist ministers, representatives of learned societies and the general public, with Livingstone's four children."

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