Livingstone’s Broken Romance

David Livingstone

David Livingstone

There is a book Inscription which suggests David Livingstone had a broken Romance before meeting and marrying his wife.

A faded little book of verses placed on exhibition at the David Livingstone Memorial, Blantyre n 1936, brought to light what is thought to have been a broken or previous romance of the great missionary. The book is Sigourney’s “Lays From the West,” and the inscription in Livingstone’s handwriting runs:—“To Miss Cathrine Ridley, with the best wishes and Christian regards of D. L. London, 25th June, 1840.’’

Following this clue through a large number of unpublished letters it was discovered that Livingstone gave the book to Miss Ridley, whom he met while studying at Ongar, Essex. She was girl of high social standing, and was looking forward to missionary service, but ill health supervened, and Livingstone sailed to Africa alone, marrying his wife 5 years later. The book was his parting gift to this woman. Later she married Thomas Prentice, a friend of Livingstone’s.

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