1852 Livingstone Letter to Robert

An interesting letter from David Livingstone to his brother Robert Livingstone, written in 1852. Its a rare insight of brotherly affection, asking to keep his younger brother “on the level” and is peppered with religious reflections. It’s clear that David was thinking he wasn’t going to see his younger brother for a long, long time.

Courtesy: Glasgow Library

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

Sandy Wilkie Every time I read another letter or article about the Good Doctor, I learn something more about the incredible David Livingstone!

Drew Fisher I’m a bit confused with this letter, or is it my reading skills? References to Papa, Mamma and England would seem to suggest it was written to his son. If so, it is father’s deepest desire for a secure eternity for his son.

Elizabeth Weaver Yeah, Robert was one of his sons, wasn’t he? Livingstone is saying farewell to his wee boy who’s gone home with Mamma, and warning him to be good.
Brian Weaver The same Robert didn’t take his father’s advice and proved to be a bit of a handful. He was sent to various boarding schools and at the age of 17 made his way back to Cape Town. His father having left, Robert took a ship to Boston where he appears to have been shanghaied into the Unionist Army. He died in a Confederate jail a year or so later.
Alex Orr Our Doctor Livingstone proud son of Blantyre.

Sandy Wilkie Yes, unless I’m mistaken too, Robert WAS his son who died in a confederate prison in Salisbury, America – his brother was called John.

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