Saturday, 17 December 2016

Christian Missionaries and the creation of Northern Rhodesia

Previously I have posted names from this book that I could establish were Scottish, or were presumed Scottish by association with missions. I'm returning to add some other names not mentioned before, this time presumed not Scottish...

Christian Missionaries and the creation of Northern Rhodesia 1880-1924, by Robert Rotberg, published in 1964 (Princeton University Press), is a very interesting account of the early days of the church in Zambia, highlighting (as the preface has it) how

Missionaries exercised, individually and collectively, a powerful influence... over scattered villages and tribes.... The stations ... became the training grounds of indigenous leadership and, at the same time, the centres of anti-European disaffection.

Peoples of Trans-Zambezia c. 1880.
The obscured names in the centre of the page are Lamba and Lenje.
Following Livingstone's death, many evangelists found their vocation in missions in Africa, with the Free Church of Scotland being early arrivals. The UFCS established Livingstonia and Blantyre (after the town of Livingstone's birth).  The book follows the  successes and failures of the early missionaries and their influence over local politics.

The map shows territories of various tribes: Lunda, Luvale, Lozi, Mbunda, Kololo, Nkoya, Toka, Ila, Tonga, Kaonde, Lamba, Lenje, Sala, Soli, Lala, Shona, Lunda, Bemba, Lungu, Mambwe, Iwa, Bisa, Kunda, Nsenga, Cewa, Ngoni, Zimba, Tumbuka, Senga, Iwa, Namwanga and Yao.

Mission stations in 1918
The early story is one of missions concentrating on particular tribes, without much overlap. Coillard went to the Lozi. The primitive methodists (PM, apparently strongest in midlands industrial towns) went to the 'warlike Ila' also known as the Mashukulumbwe.

Ila land is described as

"the kind of place where a man might go about at first fearing he wouldn't live six months, and after that period fear he wouldn't die"

I may have more information if you ask (I got tired typing - there are some brief biographies of most of the people listed below, in this book). There are also some further people mentioned in the index.

Church at Mbereshi c. 1920

Kayambi, White Fathers' church (built about 1905)

Jeanmairet's school at Leshoma, c. 1890

Paris Mission at Kazungula c. 1892


BC = Brethren in Christ
CC = Church of Christ
DRC = Dutch Reformed Church (OFS)
LMS = London Missionary Society;
NIM = Nyasa Industrial Mission
PB = Plymouth Brethren; 
PM = Primitive Methodist Missionary Society;
PMS = Paris Missionary Society
SAB = South African Baptist Missionary Society
SAGM = South Africa General Mission;
SDA = Seventh-Day Adventists
SJ = Society of Jesus
UFCS = United Free Church of Scotland.
UMCA = Universities Mission to Central Africa
WF = White Fathers
WMMS = Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society


Adamson, David (UFCS), 1875-1932, carpenter/builder m. Chalmers, Annie Rodger;  Lubwa, Mwenzo, 1914, 1921-27
Allison, Grace R. (UFCS), Abderdeen; Tamanda and Chitambo 1922-25
Anderson, William Harrison (SDA) 1870-1950, b. Mexico, Ind.; Rasungu 1905-1907
Arthington, Robert, 'miser philanthropist' from Leeds

Baecher, Aloysius (SJ) 1869-1952, b. Wecsan, Germany; Katondwe 1912-15
Bailey, Albert William (SAGM), 1873-1955, New York; established Chisalala 1910, Lalafuta 1912
Baldwin, Arthur (PM)1864-1937, b. Otley, England; 1889 pioneer party
Barnes, Herbert (UMCA) 1866-1937, Likoma 1902-1904
Bartling, Irene Anna (SAGM) b.1892 America; Musonweji, Mukinge Hill 1922-1930
Bert, Charles (SJ) 1869-1952, b. Bruges, Belgium, Chikuni 1923
Bick, Charles (SJ) 1861-1939, b. Strasbourg, Alsace; Chikuni 1908-1914
Billes, Leslie Seymour (SDA) b. 1902, NR 1922-1926
Birch, Arthur Clarkson (UMCA) b.1889; Msoro 1915-17
Boisselier, Joseph (WF), 1858-1940, b. Blouere, France; Several locations, d. Kapatu
Bredenkamp, Ovid Ogden (SDA) b.1895
Buckenham, Henry (PM) 1844-1896 b. Fakenham, England; founded Nkala d. returning to Europe
Buckley, Stanley Ediwn (PM) 1888-1946 b. Scarborough, England; carpenter Kanchindu, Nambala
Bulsiewicz, Ladislaus (SJ) 1879-1919 b. Jaslo, Galicia; Katondwe 1913-1919

Carter, Herbert (WMMS) b.1887 Warminster, England
Casset, Ambrose (SJ) 1863-1928, b. Myans, France; Chikuni 1909-1920
Chapman, William (PM) 1869-1947, b. Strubly, England; founded Nanzela 1895, Nambala 1905
Chisolm, James A (UFCS) 1872-1936, served with Rhodesian forces in E. Africa 1916
Clark, Ernest Howard (LMS) b. 1878 Walthamstow; Niamkolo etc. m. Thorn, Emily Harriet nurse 1904
Cobbe, Benjamin (PM), Belfast, Katanga, Luanza 1894-1896, d. 1896
Cole, Elizabeth B. (UFCS) 1865-1938 b. Co. Monaghan; Livingstonia,  d. New Zealand
Colibault, Jean-Marie (WF) 1880-1954 b. Orouges, France; several locations in NR 1907-1945
Cooke, Christopher Crosbie (UMCA) d. 1951; Livingstone 1920-1932
Cowl, Fanny Priscila (SAGM) b. 1886; Luampa, later Durban
Curry, Wilfred Wdiwn (PM) 1896-1956, b. Thornley, England; mainly Kafue, pilot WWI
Czarlinski, Felician (SJ) 1868-1921, b. Brachnowka, Prussia; Chingombe 1914-1921

Davidson, Hannah Frances (BC) 1860-1935, b. Smithville, Ohio. Matopo, founded Macha 1906
Davoust, Donatien (WF) 1874-1958 b. Hambers, France; many locations; wrote Cibemba dictionary
Day, Gordon Philip Jodrel (UMCA) Chilikwa 1915, Livingstone 1919-1922, Gordon's Bay Cape Town
Deerr, William Ernest (UMCA) 1873-1920; several locations d. Livingstone of cancer
Delamarche, Julien (WF) 1858-1898 Kayambi, d. blackwater fever
De la Pryme, Alexander George (UMCA) 1870-1935; Fort Jameson 1910-1919
Dewer, Alexander (UFCS); Mwenzo and elsewhere... d. 1943 South Africa
Doke, Olive C. (SAB) b. 1891 Kafulafuta 1913, O.B.E.
Draper, Walter (LMS) 1861-1927 b. Hoddeson, England; Tanganyika, Kawimbe 1900-1915
Drwiega, Martin (SJ) b. 1887 Posada Olchowska, Poland; Kasisi 1923

Dupont, Bishop (WF) 1850-1930 b. Geste, France (long biog)

Edwards, Henrietta b.1885 Rhyl, Wales; Mbereshi 1915-1919 m. Capt E.K. Jordan Johannebsburg 1919
Etienne, Louis (WF) 1886-1963 b. Ploezal, France. Many locations

Faulkner, Henry J. T. (PB) b. 1892 London; Chitokoloki 1921... Later Kolwezi
Fell, John (PM) 1879-1947 b. Pontefract, founded Kafue institute, first principal Jeanes school 1927
Fisher, Walter (PB) 1867-1935 b. London; founded Kalene Hill d., m. Darling, Anna (nurse)
Foster, Charles S. (SAGM) b. 1892 St. Leonard's on Sea, England; Musonweji, Mukinge Hill
Freshwater, William (LMS) 1872-1936 b. Market Harborough; Mbereshi and elsewhere

Gerrard, Herbert S. (PM) b. 1886 Swinton; mostly Kasenga, later Kenya
Ginter, Lila Coon (BC) b. 1893 Ohio; Macha mission Choma, m. Charles Ginter 1938
Goetstowers, Corneille (WF) 1867-1897, b. Rucphen, Holland; Old Mambwe, Kayambi d. fever
Gray, S. Douglas (WMMS) 1888-1963 b. Didsbury; Chipembi 1912-1941, M.B.E.
Guille, Raoul (WF) 1866-1897 b. Sains, France. Old Mambwe, Kayambi, d.
Guilleme, Mathurin (WF) 1859-1942, b. Ste. Marie, France, d. Likuni mission
Guillerme, Louis (WF) 1874-1960 b. Bangor, France. many locations

Hankiewicz, Stanislaus (SJ) 1877-1928 b. Krysowice, Poland; Chingombe, Kasisi 1914
Hansen, Thomas (PB) b. 1883 Danish parents, Sunderland, Johannesburg, Bulawayo
Harris, Ernest Alfred Martin (SAGM) 1866-1933, England; Chisalala 1911-1918
Hewitt, George Herbert (UMCA) b. 1893 Ripon, England; NR Diocese 1920
Higgins, Bernard (UMCA) b. 1893 Hereford.
Higgins, Thomas (PB) 1877-1945 b. Queenstown, Guiana; Luanza, Koni (Congo), Mubende 1920-45
Hine, John Edward (UMCA) 1857-1934 b. Mapperley Park; various including bishop of Likoma
Hogg, Walter (PM) carpenter, NR 1901-1905, d. Sijoba 1905
Hore, Edward Coode (LMS) 1848-1922 b. London, mission steamer John Williams, d. Tasmania wife d. Sydney 
Howie, John Struthers (UFCS) 1882-1961 m. Mary Gilmour; Livingstonia 1906; Chitambo, d. Dollar, Scotland
Hume, Douglas T (PB) b. 1894 Toronto; Angola 1917, Kanganga 1923, Sudan 1928
Hurlow, Herbert John (SDA) b. 1886 Cardiff; NR 1915

Isiah (Barotseland)

Jakeman, J. W. Victor (SAGM) 1883-1942, English m. Eva Milton 1922 Florida
Jedrzejczyk, Andrew (SJ) 1858-1921 b. Maluszyn Poland; Chingombe 1921
Jewell, F. Burton (SDA) b. 1875 Ithaca
Johnson, Harry (LMS) 1868-1964 b. Market Harborough; Kambole, later New Zealand
Jones, David Picton (LMS) 1860-1936 b. New Quay Wales; founded Fwambo 1887, Kawimbe...
Jones, Percy William (LMS) b.1871 Malvern; NR 1898-1899

Jeanmairet, Dorwald (Paris mission)
Johnston, Sir

Kerswell, John Ambrose (PM) 1877-1944 b. Teignmouth; NR 1908-1937, Nambala, Namantombwa
Kodrzynsik, Leo (SJ) 1881-1951 b. Lesna, Czechoslovakia; Katondwe 1913-1951
Konigmacher, Samuel Martin (SDA) 1877-1950; NR 1917-1934
Kopec, Maxim (SJ) b. 1878 Karwina, Silesia; Katondwe, Kasisi 1919
Kraupa, Apolonius (SJ) 1871-1919, b. Kozlow, Galicia; Katondwe 1913-1919
Kupferer, Alice A. L. (SAGM) b. 1894 St. Louis Mo., nurse 1924-1933 Musonweji, Mukinge Hill

Larue, Bishop Etienne (WF) 1865-1935 b. St Christophe-en-Brionnais
Lawson, Agnes T. (UFCS) Anglican m. Charles MacKinnon Fife NR 1907; Livingstonia 1906 
Lawson, James (LMS) 1874-1903 b. Blackburn; Niamkolo 1902-3, d. Mbereshi blackwater fever
Lazarewicz, John (SJ) 1865-1930 b. Lancut, Poland; Katondwe, Chingombe 1912
Leeke, Charles Harold (UMCA) 1887-1958 b. Lincoln; Chilikwa, Broken Hill
Letort, Francois (WF) 1859-1908 b. Theil; Kayambi, Chilubula, d. East Africa
Lewis, Ernest Winbolt (LMS) b.1876 Madras
Longa, James (SJ) 1857-1937 b. Kisszalok, Hungary; Kapoche, Kasisi 1931-1937
Loveless, James H. (WMMS) 1884-1924 b. North Walsham
Lyon, John T. b.1890 Huggate Wold; Royal Army Medical Corps; Kafue Institute

Maben, Pearl Ross (SAGM) b. 1887 American; Chisalala, Musonweji
McCallum, Peter (UFCS) d. 1931
MacLennan, John Edward (UMCA) Liverpool, d. London 1916
Malin, Christian (SJ) 1877-1942 b. Satteins, Austria; Chikuni 1920
Mann, Roy Hess (BC) b. 1898 Washington Borough Pa. d. Macha 1924
Markiewicz, Vincent (SJ) 1888-1924 b. Dyon, Poland, Chingombe 1921-24
Masterson, Christina (UFCS) Lubwa 1922 m. Rev Kelp, Nigeria.
Mather, Charles Benjamin (LMS) 1858-1898 b. Tunbridge Wells; d. Fwambo
May, Alston James Weller (UMCA) 1869-1940 b. Stoke-on-Trent; bishop of NR 1914-1940
Mazurek, Stephen (SJ) 1891-1959 b. Polubicze, Poland; Chingombe, Kasisi
Meier, Francis Xavier (SJ) b. 1883 Switzerland; Chikuni 1915
Meldrum, James D. (UFCS) d. 1928.... Mwenzo, later Nyasaland
Moffat, Malcolm (UFCS) b. Kuruman m. Maria Martin Jackson, Mkushi d. Kalwa
Moffat, James Ronald (UMCA) b 1878; Mpanza, Fort Jameson ...
Molinier, Louis (WF) 1872-1910 b. St. Amans-Soult, France; various d. Lubwa
Moreau, Joseph (SJ) 1864-1949 b. La Bruffiere, France; Chikuni
Morris, Sidney Herbert (LMS) 1875-1918 b. Market Harborough; NR 1901-2
Moskopp, Gaspar (SJ) 1869-1923 b. Koblenz, Germany; Kapoche
Myers, J. Lester (BC) b. 1892 Franklin County, Pa.

Ma-Ruthi (Barotseland)
Middleton, George
Mukwae, Mulena
Mwama, chief Bemba

Nave, J. Ward (WMMS) 1885-1935 b. Willington Quay Wales; Chipembi
Nielsen, Christine L (SAGM) b abt. 1895 American, Angola, NR 1924-25
Nicot, Victor (SJ) 1858-1935 b. Champagne, France; Chikuni
Nutt, William Harwood (LMS) 1869-1942 b. Beeston, England
Nutter, Henry Cecil (LMS) b. Thwaites Brow England; Mbereshi

O'Ferrall, Ronald Stanhope More (UMCA) b. 1890
Oost, Achille van (WF) 1859-1895 b. Hontkerque, France

Pacek, Francis (SJ) 1869-1945 b. Brangkowka, Poland; Chingombe, Broken Hill
Paczka, Adalbert (SJ) 1875-1955 b. Siedleoska
Pickering, Frederick (PM) 1863-1935 b. Bridlington; Nanzela, Aliwal
Pirouet, Herbert Geffrand (SAGM) b. 1877 London
Pomeroy, Henry James (PB) 1871-1924; Luanza, Algeria, Nigeria
Pottie, Michael (PM) Transvaal, originally Scotland; Kasenga 1916
Prescott, William John (PB) b. 1897 Devon
Price, John W. (PM) b. 1878 Norwich; Nanzela
Pueth, Eugene (WF) 1874-1954 b. Sablieres, France. many locations
Pulley, Gerrard Todd (UMCA) b. 1888 Forest Hill, England.

Rand, Frederick Bacon (UMCA)  b 1882, later Truro
Ranger, Apsley Sidney Burdett (UMCA) b. 1879 Hertingfordbury; Msoro
Rhinehart, Jesse Abraham (SAGM) 1888-1944 American; Chisalala
Robertson, Christopher (SDA) b. 1880 England
Rodenbuhrer, Stephen (SJ) 1872-1948 b. Nemetker Hungary; Kapoche
Roebuck, Oliver (WMMS) b 1896 Sheffield, 17th Manchester Regiment
Rogers, Thomas Lambert (PB) d. 1916 Chitokoloki blackwater fever
Ross, James Arthur (LMS) 1877-1958 b. Skipton; Kambole
Ruck, Cecil George (UMCA) 1890-1958 Blackburn

Schoeffer, Georges (WF) 1868-1942 b. Nozay, France; d. Chilubi
Scott, John Cameron b. 1878 Manchester ; Mbereshi
Seidel, Waldemaar (SJ) 1882-1957 b. Rosdin, Czech.; Kapoche 1921

Shaw, John (PM) b. 1889 Thackley;  left school at 14. His father was a primitive methodist lay preacher. Worked in a textile factory and studied at night in Keighly. Wanted to enter business, but instead entered Hartley College in 1912. Contemplated taking a church in Canada or missionary work in China, but joined mission circuit in Orange Free State instead. Transferred to NR in 1916. Nanzela 1916-1925, Kafue 1926-1932, Lusaka 1932-1960. WWII Chaplain to NR Regiment. Awarded M.B.E.

Shaw, Mabel (LMS) b. 1888 Bilston; Mbereshi 1915-1941, O.B.E.
Shoosmith, Edith May (SAGM) b. 1891 resided Brighton; NR 1920-1952
Short, William N. (CC) b. 1895 American stone mason
Sims, Ernest Herbert (PB) b 1884 London
Sims, George (PB) b 1881 Swindon; mainly Kaleba and Mansa 1910-1960
Smith, Arthur Harry (UMCA) b 1886; various, Lusaka 1953
Smith, Edwin Williams (PM) 1876-1957 b. Aliwal m. Julia Fitch (d. 1953)
Smith, James (UFCS) b 1898
Smith, John (PM)
Sollner, Oswald (PM, killed by Ila)
Spendel, John (SJ) 1880-1945 b Stein, Czech.
Steckley, Elizabeth Engle (BC) b 1876 Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania, res. Kansas m. Lewis Steckley 1916
Stofner, Jospeh (SJ) 1865-1936 b Sarntheim, S. Tyrol; Katondwe 1913-1936
Suckling, George R. (PB) 1883-1952 resided London; NR 1911, founded Chitokoloki 1915, died there
Swann, Alfred James (LMS) 1855-1928 b. Shoreham; mariner

Tafuna,  chief Lungu
Tanguy, Francois (WF) 1886-1961 b Bannalec, Franc; d. Kasama
Taylor, Myron (BC) 1873-1931 b Lapeer County, Michigan; m Adda Engle 1909; Macha 1907-1931, killed by lion
Thomas, William (LMS) b 1859 St Clears, Wales
Thompson, Frank Elwell (SDA) b 1890 Northfield Indiana, carpenter
Torrend, Julius (SJ) 1861-1936 b Privat d'allier
Turner, Bernard Raleigh (LMS) 1878-1943 b Hackney; mainly Mbereshi

Uhlik, Francis (SJ) b 1877 Poland

Vernon, W. Roy (SAGM) b 1887 American; Musonweji

Waddell, William
Ward, Frederick (PM)
Walker, Walter W. (SDA) b 1887 Sopchoppy Florida.
Wareham, Harold Edgar (LMS) 1873-1955 b Guildford
Watney, Martyn Herbert (SAGM) b 1887 Pangbourne; Kaba Hill
Webster, William George (UMCA) d 1954, compositor
Welfele, Eugene (WF) 1877-1956 b Chatenois France; various stations
Wenger, Jesse (BC)  b 1876 Englewood, Ohio
Wheeler, Clarence Edward (SDA) b 1890 Tyro, Kansas, farmer
Wilhelm, Augustinus (SJ) 1866-1952 b Wroclaw, Poland; Kapoche, Katondwe 1919
Wilson, Augustus Albert (SAGM) b 1887 Canada, printer
Wilson, Hubert Francis (UFCS) b 1884 Kendal, Westmoreland; later Perthshire Scotland
Wilson, John Victor (SDA) 1889-1955 b Port Elizabeth; Rusangu
Wilson, Ruth Mary Livingstone (UFCS) b 1882 Kendal, Westmorland; g.d. of David Livingstone married Alexander Macdonald in 1920

Zurek, Augustinus (SJ) 1846-1917 b Lubliniec, Silesia; Katondwe

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Elephants and Millipedes

It's a small world. The other day in church, a choir member asked me if I'd heard of Merfyn Temple. I'd heard of him, I said, he was well known in Lusaka, and attended services at the Cathedral in Lusaka sometimes - and my parents knew him. "I have a book for you," she said. So, I was gifted this title called Elephants and Millipedes, The organic revolution in Zambia, signed by Merfyn Temple. My benefactor had met him at a meeting on organic farming somewhere in England. Merfyn had interrupted her conversation when she suggested using a pesticide on some or other garden pest. Now I know that Merfyn became a champion of organic farming in his later life.

Merfyn has a natural way of writing and a passion for his subject, as well as a depth of experience in Zambia. In this account he talks about his work in Chipapa, near Chilanga, where he helped establish organic farming, a later venture of his. He had arrived in Zambia in 1943 as a minister of the Methodist church, left Zambia in 1974, and returned to start this work at Chipapa (which it seems took its name from that of a freed slave) in 1989.

He writes of his early experiences:

Not being a natural linguist I was having great difficulty in understanding and speaking the local language... I went to live away from the mission, where no-one spoke English... I learned to use a native adze and carved a six foot wooden cross which I set up by the well... I bought an iron spearhead [which] I hammered into the cross and asked to explain to the mystified villagers that on such a cross had Jesus their Saviour been crucified and the spear was man's sin which had been the cause of his death. I planted zinnia seeds at the foot of the cross and some of the women helped gather thorn bushes... to keep the cattle and goats away. I later heard that soon after I left someone stole the spear, the flowers died from lack of water and the white ants ate the cross. I had a lot more to learn than the language.

I find this tale so typical of our failed expectations as missionaries and also as NGOs. We have high hopes that are often sadly misplaced.

Merfyn writes of a stranger who visited his mission station to hand him a note saying:

Dear Muluti [teacher], we know that you missionaries have been sent here by the government to apply Bible grease. You have come to make us soft so that we will not oppose Colonial rule. You will never succeed because we African people will take the power and you with all the other white people will be thrown out of the country....

On another occasion the man (it turns out he was Edward Liso Mungoni, later a politician and member of the Anglican church) returned medals issued to mission schools to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, saying that Harry Nkumbula was the true leader of the country.

Merfyn Temple later joined Kenneth Kaunda's UNIP party, which must have taken a great deal of courage, and was active politically, helping to establish the Zambia Youth Service. After independence, the youths at a planned agricultural project were not well-pleased to be told they had to hoe the ground, as there were no tractors. As Merfyn puts it, there was a 'gap between dream and reality that had grown out of all proportion'. I do find this earlier history very revealing.

Merfyn asks 'old' Schachifwa what he thinks of Americans having flown to the moon. He said  

'he believed it because he knew the Americans were very clever people, but there had been a great deal of discussion in the village amongst the older people who found it impossible to believe. They had two difficulties. One was that people could not walk on the moon because they would not have any sky there since they were in the sky already. The other problem was about God. God is somewhere up there in the sky because he sends the rain, and nothing in the lives of people is more important than rain. Somehow, men on the moon would interfere with God's benevolence.... Anyway, what's the point of going there since they found no trees to build houses with, and no grass for grazing cattle'.

He's got a point...

There is much of interest in the later history of the work at Chipapa as well, including the story of a family that died after brewing beer in an empty pesticide barrel, but ultimately it is a positive account of the success of organic farming in this area.

Merfyn Temple died in 2012.


Here are some of the people mentioned, some from the earlier history, many chiefs, some proponents of organic farming mentioned in passing, others people living in Chipapa or involved in the establishment of organic farming there.

Chibuluma, Chief
Curtis, Jukes (Lusaka businessman)
Doxiadis Ltd - Greek town planners

Filipo - farmer and water engineer, Shantumbu
Goodfellow, District Commissioner
Jansson engineering works

Kaingu (Ila Chief)
Kalambalala, Daniel
Kalambalala, Godfrey
Kasempa, Chief
Kaunda, Kenneth
Kibika, Juda (farmer)
Krapf, Dr

Lewanika, Chief
Liebentall, Bob
Luungu, Bazak

Maane, E.C. (architect)
Mayanda, Job
Mbewe, Peter (tavern)
Michello, Ennias
Moffat, Unwin
Moono, Chief
Morris, Colin
Mukobelal (Ila Chief)
Mungaila (Chief)
Mungoni, Edward
Muwezwa (Ila Chief)
Mwando, Yoram

Nalubamba, Bright (Chief)
Namwala secondary school dancers
Ndunda, Matthew (farmer)
Nkomesha, Chief
Nkumbula, Harry

Phiri, Mr (driver Chipapa bus)
Porter, Mrs (secretary of Schumacher)
Priebe, Dr

Schachifwa, b. abt. 1900 headman, wife Esther
Schachifwa, Daniel, wife Sarah
Schachifwa, Janela
Schachifwa, Chipo
Schachifwa, Trevor
Schachikwa, Gilbert
Scott, Guy
Shakumbila, Chief
Shankwaya, Herbert
Shantumbu - village
Shezongo (Ila Chief)
Schumacher, Dr Fritz

Zumbwa, Moses
Zumbwa, John (son of Moses) wife Charity
Zumbwa, Norman


Elephants and Millipedes is published by
Millipede Books,
40 Thames Avenue,
Berks RG8 7BY

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Chuma and Susi in Northamptonshire

Most people will have heard of David Livingstone's companions James Chuma and Abdullah Susi, who in 1873 along with Matthew Wellington found Livingstone dead and helped to carry his preserved body from Chitambo's village in North Western Zambia, wrapped in bark, 1500 kilometres to Bagamoyo in Tanzania. Chuma and Susi are rightly remembered for this loyalty and effort, but little is known or said of their time before or after Livingstone. I was surprised to discover then that both of them had traveled to England. Apparently neither was with Livingstone when he was buried at Westminster Abbey, although Jacob Wainwright, who carved the famous memorial in a tree at Chitambo's was.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons - the original memorial
Wainwright, who had been part of Stanley's famous expedition to find Livingstone, was one of the pall bearers at the funeral, along with the Revd Horace Waller, who edited Livingstone's last diaries.

Chuma and Susi must have traveled around England quite a lot, having apparently spent time in Leytonstone (north London) and also in Twywell, Northamptonshire, where they are remembered in the local church of St Nicholas. They helped Waller to decipher Livingstone's notes and fill in gaps in his story. I am not sure where they spent the greater amount of their time, but they were in Leytonstone long enough to build a replica of the hut in which Livingstone died, which must have been viewed by many visitors. Since I live nearby, I like to think that Chuma and Susi must have visited Northampton, and to imagine them walking about. Anita McCullough [2] reports that Susi and Chuma probably returned to Africa before the year was out and it is reported elsewhere that they were not treated very well, and although feted were housed and fed with servants [3]. Both received bronze medals from the Royal Geographical Society.

Stranger still, in Twywell rumour has it that one of the two remained in England and married a French girl, with whom he had two sons, one of whom married a Twywell girl [4]. This seemed very unlikely to me in light of other evidence that both Chuma and Susi returned to Africa and died quite young. Chuma and Susi both returned to work with the UMCA [5, 6, 7]. Chuma died in Zanzibar aged about 32 in 1882, and Susi also in Zanzibar in 1891 [7]. So where did this story come from? It seems that one day a 'dark stranger' was seen crossing a field, who later claimed to be a son of either Chuma or Susi and eloped with a local girl, named Polly Abbot [8]. According to Jeffrey Green the man was actually George Henry Watteau, son of a well-known gardener in Chislehurst, Kent, also called George. The elder George claimed to have been part of Livingstone's party and to have helped bring his body from Africa, but this does not seem possible. According to another source [9] his name may have been derived from his habitual greeting of 'What ho!', but his original name may have been Makepo (Makipo?) and it is possible he was born in South Africa.

It seems clear that George Watteau senior cultivated the idea that he had worked with David Livingstone, which must have given him a celebrity status and possibly an income (his portrait appears to have been taken on many occasions). Did George say that he worked at Livingstone House in Kent, and go along with the idea that it was David Livingstone's house? Did the villagers of Twywell transfer George's parentage to Chuma and Susi, or was that George junior's ruse?

St Nicholas Church is worth a visit if you are interested in David Livingstone and this history. They have a few interesting artefacts as well as two beautifully carved pews depicting the work of the UMCA and African animals. On examining the photos carefully I see that one is actually of George Watteau. At first I thought this was a Rhodesian newspaper, but now I'm wondering if it is a UK paper with the headline 'Livingstone Echo'. There is again the claim that Watteau was involved with Livingstone's expeditions and was a servant to Livingstone - but I've not seen any evidence of this elsewhere. I suspect that the newspaper fell for this story, as apparently did many other people.

Artefacts at Twywell, including pincers for removing slave shackles, and bark in which Livingstone's body was wrapped.
Mr Watteau, I presume?

St Nicholas Church, Twywell, Northamptonshire

A watercolour of the spot where Bishop Mackenzie was buried, present day Malawi
Slaves - on the right of the panel
Chuma and Susi working for the UMCA. The UMCA leads the slaves out from slavery, to the cross on the left of the panel
O all ye beasts and cattle bless ye the Lord. Praise him and magnify him for ever. O ye children of men, bless ye the Lord. Praise him and magnify him for ever. (Inscription on the carved panels in the choir pews.)

The Old Rectory, Twywell in 2015 - Livingstone's last journals were at least in part edited here
A letter to Horace Waller from General Gordon


[1] Bombay Africans, Royal Geographical Society

[2] "Rev Horace Waller: Dr David Livingstone's friend in Leytonstone", Anita McCullough, Leyton History Society

[3] Heroes of Livingstone's last trek revealed, The Scotsman, 20 May 2007

[4] Tales of Old Northamptonshire, Marian Pipe, Countryside books, 1990; also personal communication with the church-warden at St Nicholas, Twywell in 2015.

[5] Chuma+Susi fact file, Royal Geographical Society resources

[6] James Chuma, Royal Geographical Society

[7] Abdullah Susi, Royal Geographical Society

[8] George Watteau, the African gardener of Chislehurst, Jeffrey Green,

[9] David Stuart-Mogg, Letters to the Daily Telegraph, 2nd December 2006

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