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If the story seems somewhat out of place amongst nineteenth century records, it is, nevertheless, such a unique display of stubborn heroism “under fire” that I have not hesitated to include it.

On the 10th of September, 1591 (31st August, old style), Lord Thomas Howard, with six of her Majesty’s ships, five victualling ships, a barque and two or three pinnaces, was at anchor near Flores, one of the westerly islands of the Azores, when Captain Middleton brought the news that the Spanish fleet was approaching.

He had no sooner delivered his message than the Spaniards came in sight. The few ships at Lord Howard’s command were in a very unready state for fighting. Many of the seamen were ill. Some of the ships’ companies were procuring ballast, others getting in water.

Being so unprepared for the contest, and so greatly outnumbered, the British ships weighed their anchors and set sail. The last ship to get under weigh was _The Revenge_, as Sir Richard waited for the men left on the island, who would have otherwise been captured.

The master of the ship wanted him to “cut his mainsail and cast about, and to trust to the sailing of his ship”; but Sir Richard utterly refused to turn from the enemy, saying that he would rather choose to die than dishonour himself, his country, and her Majesty’s ship, and informed his company that he would pass through the two squadrons in spite of them. He might possibly have been able to carry out his plan; but the huge _San Philip_, an immense vessel of 1500 tons, coming towards him as he was engaging other ships of the fleet, becalmed his sails and then boarded him. Whilst thus entangled with the _San Philip_, four other ships also boarded _The Revenge_.

“The fight thus beginning at three of the clocke in the after noone,” says Sir Walter Raleigh, “continued verie terrible all that evening.”

Before long, the _San Philip_, having received the fire of _The Revenge_ at close quarters, “shifted herself with all diligence, utterly misliking her first entertainment”.

The Spanish ships had a great number of soldiers on board, in some cases two hundred, in others five, and in some even eight hundred; whilst on _The Revenge_ there were in all only one hundred and ninety persons, of whom ninety were sick.

After discharging their guns the Spanish ships endeavoured to board _The Revenge_; but, notwithstanding the multitude of their armed men, they were repulsed again and again, and driven back either into their ships or into the sea.

After the battle had lasted well into the night many of the British were slain or wounded, whilst two Spanish ships had been sunk. An hour before midnight Sir Richard Grenville was shot in the body, and a little later was wounded in the head, whilst the doctor who was attending him was killed.

The company on board _The Revenge_ was gradually getting less and less; the Spanish ships, meanwhile, as they received a sufficient evidence of _The Revenge’s_ powers of destruction, dropped off, and their places were taken by others; and thus it happened that ere the morning fifteen ships had been engaged, and all were so little pleased with the entertainment provided that they were far more willing to listen to proposals for an honourable arrangement than to make any more assaults.

As Lord Tennyson writes:–

And the sun went down, and the stars came out far over the summer sea, But never a moment ceased the fight of the one and the fifty-three. Ship after ship the whole night long their high-built galleons came,

Ship after ship, the whole night long, with her battle-thunder and flame;
Ship after ship, the whole night long, drew back with her dead and her shame.
For some were sunk and many were shatter’d, and so could fight us no more–
God of battles, was ever a battle like this in the world before?

_The Revenge_ had by this time spent her last barrel of gunpowder; all her pikes were broken, forty of her best men slain, and most of the remainder wounded. For her brave defenders there was now no hope,–no powder, no weapons, the masts all beaten overboard, all her tackle cut asunder, her decks battered, nothing left overhead for flight or below for defence.

Sir Richard, finding himself in this condition after fifteen hours’ hard fighting, and having received about eight hundred shots from great guns, besides various assaults from the enemy, and seeing, moreover, no way by which he might prevent his ship falling into the hands of the Spanish, commanded the master gunner, whom he knew was a most resolute man, to split and sink the ship. He did this that thereby nothing might remain of glory or victory to the Spaniards: seeing that in so many hours’ fight, and with so great a navy, they were not able to take her, though they had fifteen hours in which to do so; and moreover had 15,000 men and fifty-three ships of war against his single vessel of five hundred tons.

He endeavoured to persuade his men to yield themselves to God, and to the mercy of none else; that, as they had repulsed so many enemies, they should not shorten the honour of their nation by prolonging their lives by a few hours or days.

The captain and master could not, however, see the matter in this light, and besought Sir Richard to have a care of them, declaring that the Spaniards would be ready to treat with them; and that, as there were a number of gallant men yet living whose wounds were not mortal, they might do their country and prince acceptable service hereafter. They also pointed out that as _The Revenge_ had six feet of water in the hold and three shots under water, but weakly stopped, she must needs sink in the first heavy sea; which indeed happened a few days later. But Sir Richard refused to be guided by such counsels.

Whilst, however, the dispute was going on, the master of _The Revenge_ opened communication with the Spaniards and concluded an arrangement fully honourable to the British, by which it was agreed that those on board _The Revenge_ should be sent to England in due course; those of the better sort to pay a reasonable ransom, and meantime no one was to be imprisoned. The commander of the Spanish fleet agreed to this readily, not only because (knowing the disposition of his adversary) he feared further loss to his own side by prolonging the fight, but because he greatly admired the valour of Sir Richard Grenville, and desired to save his life. The master gunner, finding Sir Richard and himself alone in their way of thinking, would have slain himself rather than fall into the hands of the enemy, but was forcibly prevented from carrying out his intention and locked in his cabin.

Being sent for by Don Alfonso Bassan, the Spanish commander, Sir Richard made no objection to going, answering that he might do as he pleased with his body, for he esteemed it not. As he was being carried out of the ship he swooned, and reviving again desired the company to pray for him.

Though the Spaniards treated Sir Richard with every care and consideration, he died the second or third day after the fight, deeply lamented both by, the enemy and by his own men.

“Here die I, Richard Grenville,” said he, “with a joyful and quiet mind; for that I have ended my life as a true soldier ought to do, that hath fought for his country, queen, religion and honour. Whereby my soul most joyfully departeth out of this body, and shall always leave behind it an everlasting fame of a valiant and true soldier, that hath done his duty as he was bound to do.”

The reason the other British ships did not take part in the contest was that it was altogether hopeless; and that, had the admiral ordered it, the entire fleet would probably have fallen into the hands of the Spaniards, seeing that they so greatly outnumbered the British ships.

Six small ships ill supplied with fighting men against fifty-three bigger ones filled with soldiers was too great a disparity of force to give even a hope of victory.

And, although Lord Howard would himself have gone into battle even against such odds as that, yet the other commanders were greatly opposed to so rash an enterprise; and the master of his own ship said he would rather jump into the sea than conduct her Majesty’s ship and the rest to be a prey to the enemy.

Hence it was that _The Revenge_ fought alone on that September day the entire Spanish fleet, and has given us one of the most glorious pages in the annals of our national history.



Fancy Hannington, of all persons in the world, turning missionary, and going out to preach the Gospel to the blacks!

It is well-nigh incredible at first thought that such a light-hearted, rollicking, jovial fellow could have given up _everything_ for such a work as that!

He had plenty of money, hosts of friends, wife, children, any amount of useful work to do at home,–everything, in fact, that can make life worth living.

What could possibly make such a man as that go into the wilds of Africa to be tormented, tortured, and slain by savages?

I will try and show briefly how it came about.

At school Hannington was the veriest pickle, and was nicknamed “Mad Jim”.

On one occasion he lit a bonfire in his dormitory, he pelted the German master with rejected examination papers, and in a single day was caned over a dozen times. Yet he fought the bullies, and kept his word; he was brave, honest and manly, and was a great favourite.

When about fifteen years old he was put into his father’s business at Brighton. His life there was certainly not hard or trying. He was allowed to travel a great deal, and thus went over a considerable part of Europe, enjoying himself immensely when so doing. Still, he had no taste for the counting-house; and after six years gave it up to become a clergyman, and forthwith proceeded to Oxford.

Both at Oxford and at Martinhoe, in North Devon, where he spent some time during the vacations, Hannington preserved his reputation for fun and love of adventure. At Oxford he took part in practical jokes innumerable; at Martinhoe cliff-climbing and adventurous scrambles occupied some little of his time.

One day he went with two companions to explore a cave called “The Eyes”. Adjoining this they discovered a narrow hole leading to a further cave, which was below high-water mark. Into this with great exertion Jim managed to squeeze himself. It was quite dark inside, and whilst he was describing it to his companions they suddenly noticed that the tide was fast coming in, and implored him to get out of his perilous position at once.

Easier said than done. The difficulty he had found in getting in was a trifle compared with the passage out. He tried head first, then feet first, and whilst his friends tugged he squeezed. It was of no use. The sea had almost reached him, and drowning seemed certain.

Then, quite hopeless of escape, he bade his companions good-bye. All at once it occurred to him to try taking off his clothes. This made just the difference required, and with a tremendous effort he got out of his prison-house in the very nick of time.

A little later comes an important entry in his diary: “—- opened a correspondence with me to-day, which I speak of as delightful; it led to my conversion”.

Thereafter followed a change in Hannington’s life–he prayed more.

It seems that about this time a college friend began to think much of him, and to pray earnestly for him; and finally wrote to him a serious, simple, earnest letter, which had much effect on Hannington.

The letter was unanswered for over a year; but coming at a time when the man of twenty-five was beginning to find that there were better things to be done in life than cliff-climbing in the country, or giving pleasant parties at Oxford, it wrought its purpose, and formed the first step towards the new life.

Having spent some time in study, Hannington went up for his ordination examination. He did very well the first day; the second he was ill and could do nothing; the third the same; and when he was dismissed by the bishop he was in a state akin to despair.

The next examination was better, but he was nervous, and found his mind at times a hopeless blank. He passed, but not in such a way as he desired. At the examination for priest’s orders he came out at the top of the list.

The first portion of his life as a curate did not seem to point to his making any mark upon his Devonshire flock. His audiences were sleepy, and paid little attention to his sermons.

One day he got lost on Exmoor in trying to make a short cut to a place where he was to conduct service. He was consequently late in arriving, and found the congregation waiting. On explaining why he was late to the clerk:–

“Iss,” said that official, “we reckoned you was lost, but now you are here go and put on your surples and be short, for we all want to get back to dinner”. Truly he was no Wesley in those days!

But to him, as to every true-hearted seeker, light came at last. Not long afterwards he could write, “I know now that Jesus Christ died for me, and that He is mine and I am His”.

After little more than a year in Devonshire, Hannington was appointed curate in charge of St. George’s, Hurstpierpoint, near Brighton. By his earnestness he roused the people to a fuller faith and to better works. Finding much drunkenness in the place he turned teetotaler, and persuaded many to sign the pledge. He started Bible classes, prayer meetings, and mothers’ meetings. Not only was he a shining light in his own parish, but he also went about the country and assisted at revival missions, showing himself everywhere a bright and helpful minister of the Gospel.

In the year 1878 Hannington heard of the violent deaths which had befallen Lieut. Shergold Smith and Mr. O’Neil in Central Africa. From this time he became drawn towards mission work in that district.

It was not, however, till the year 1882 that he finally entered into arrangements with the Church Missionary Society to go to Africa.

Their high estimation of his capacities may be gathered from the fact that he was appointed as leader of the expedition which was being sent out.

It was a horrible wrench at last to leave wife and children. “My most bitter trial,” he writes–“an agony that still cleaves to me–was saying good-bye to the little ones. Thank God the pain was all on one side. ‘Come back soon, papa!’ they cried.” His wife had resolutely made up her mind to give him to God, and was brave to the last.

“When at length the ship left England I watched and watched the retreating tow-boat,” he continues, “until I could see it no longer, and then hurried down below. Indeed, I felt for the moment as one paralysed. Now is the time for reaction–to ‘cast all your care upon Him’.”

Strangely enough, both his missionary journeys in Africa failed in their original aim, which was to reach the kingdom of Uganda.

In the first journey the expedition started from the coast at the end of June, 1882. After two months’ difficult marching into the interior, amidst the constant difficulties which beset the African traveller, he writes on 1st August: “I am very happy. Fever is trying, but it does not take away the joy of the Lord, and keeps one low in the right place”.

On, on they went. Fever was so heavy upon him that his temperature reached 110 degrees; but still he struggled forward, insisting upon placing a weary companion on the beast which he ought himself to have ridden.

By 4th September they reached Uyui, a place which was still far distant from Lake Victoria (or Victoria Nyanza); and now he was at death’s door. So intense was the pain he suffered that he asked to be left alone that he might scream, as that seemed to bring some relief.

Notwithstanding this suffering, the expedition started forward again on 16th October, Hannington being placed in a hammock. They reached Lake Victoria, but the leader could go no further. He was utterly broken down by continued fever; and, though the thought of returning to England without accomplishing his mission was bitter to him, it was a necessity.

By June, 1883, he was again in London. How favourable was the impression Hannington had already made upon the Missionary Society is apparent from the fact that the bishopric of East Equatorial Africa was offered him. He was consecrated in June, 1884; and, after visiting Palestine to confirm the churches there, he arrived in Frere Town on the west coast of Africa in January, 1885, and spent several months of useful work in organising. By July, 1885, he was ready to attempt the second time to reach the kingdom of Uganda.

He determined to try a different route from that taken before, in order to avoid the fevers from which the previous expedition had suffered so terribly.

After surmounting many difficulties in his passage through Masai Land he had by October reached within a few days’ journey of Uganda; but there, on the outskirts of the kingdom he sought to enter, a martyr’s death crowned his brief but earnest mission life.

On 21st October, 1885, the bishop had started from his tent to get a view of the river Nile when about twenty of the natives set upon him, robbed him, and hurried him off to prison. He was violently dragged along, some trying to force him one way, some another, dashing him against trees in their hurry, and bruising and wounding him without thought or consideration. Although the bishop believed he was to be thrown over a precipice or murdered at once, he could still say, “Lord, I put myself in Thy hands; I look to Thee alone,” and sing, “Safe in the arms of Jesus”.

At length, after a journey of about five miles, he was pushed into a hut, and there kept prisoner. Whilst in this place he endured all kinds of horrors. Laughed at in his sufferings by the savages, almost suffocated by the bad smells about the hut, taken out at times to be the sport of his captors, unable to eat, full of aches and pains, he was yet able to look up and say, “Let the Lord do as He sees fit,” and to read his Bible and feel refreshed.

On 27th October he writes: “I am very low, and cry to God for release”. On the 28th fever developed rapidly. Word was brought that messengers had arrived from Mwanga, King of Uganda. Three soldiers from this monarch had indeed arrived; but, instead of bringing orders for his release, doubtless conveyed instructions that the bishop should be put to death.

It seems that Mwanga had some fear of invasion from the East; and acting on his suspicions, without taking any trouble to ascertain the facts of the case, had sent the fatal command.

On the day of the bishop’s release, the 29th, he was held up by Psalm xxx., which came with great power. As he was led forth to execution he sang hymns nearly all the way. When his captors hesitated to launch their spears at him, he spake gently to them and pointed to his gun. So, either by gunshot or spear wounds, died another of that glorious band of martyrs who have, century after century, fearlessly laid down their lives to advance the Kingdom of God.

Mrs. Hannington has kindly made a tracing of the page in the bishop’s little pocket diary for 28th October, the day before his martyrdom took place. I am very glad to be able to give a reproduction of so interesting a memento.

[Illustration: diary entry]

_Seventh day’s prison. Wednesday, 28th October_. A terrible night, 1st with noisy, drunken guard, and 2nd with vermin which have found out my tent and swarm. I don’t think I got one sound hour’s sleep, and woke with fever fast developing. O Lord, do have mercy upon me and release me. I am quite broken down and brought low. Comforted by reading 27th Psalm.

In an hour or two’s time fever developing rapidly. My tent was so stifling I was obliged to go inside the filthy hut, and soon was delirious.

Evening: fever passed away. Word came that Mwanga had sent 3 soldiers, but what news they bring they will not yet let me know.

Much comforted by 28th Psalm.



He was nicknamed “Phlos”–short for philosopher–even when at school. Havelock and a few companions at Charterhouse met together for devotion, and of course came in for a large amount of jeering from some of the other boys. But it was useless to call him “Methodist” and “hypocrite”; he had learnt from his mother the value of Bible reading, and possessed sufficient character to care little what his companions said.

He knew the right, and did it–thus early he was a philosopher in a small way.

It had been intended that Havelock should follow the law as a profession; and he was studying with this end in view when his father stopped the necessary supplies of money, and he had to turn to some other occupation for a living.

He had always had a leaning towards a military life, and by his brother’s aid obtained a commission as second lieutenant in 1815, being then twenty years old.

Unlike Colin Campbell, who was in the thick of the fight within a few months of joining his regiment, it was some years before Havelock had a chance of distinguishing himself; but meantime he set to work to study military history and tactics both ancient and modern.

Not content with this, he learnt Persian and Hindostanee; and thus when he went to India in 1823 he was equipped as few young men of his day were.

Havelock’s faith, strong though it was, had to undergo a time of severe trial. Doubts arose in his mind, and made him miserable while they lasted. But on board ship he came across Lieut. Gardner, to whom, with others, he was giving lessons in languages; and as a result of his intercourse with this man he became again the same simple loving believer that he had been when he learnt to read the Bible at his mother’s knee, or braved the taunts of his school-fellows.

During the two months he was at Calcutta he held religious meetings, to which the soldiers were invited. At these, not only did he preach the Gospel of Christ, but he made a point of telling the men the blessings of temperance; and it was by his influence that later on a society was formed in the regiment, and various attractions were placed before the men to keep them from intemperance.

Now came the chance of active service for which he had been longing. An expedition was planned against the Burmese, and Havelock was one of the members. But a great disappointment was in store for him. The ship in which he sailed was delayed, and did not arrive at Rangoon till the town was taken. Still, though there was no glory to be gained, there was much good work to be done in looking after his men’s comfort and well-being; and this he did to the utmost of his power. He also held simple services, such as the men could appreciate, in one of the Buddhist temples.

Though there was not a great deal of fighting to do, there were great losses of men through disease; and Havelock himself was ere long so ill that he was told a voyage to England was the only thing to save his life.

This, however, he objected to; and after a stay at Bombay he was sufficiently restored to rejoin his regiment.

During this war a night attack was made by the enemy on an outpost; and the men ordered to repulse it were not ready when summoned.

“Then call out Havelock’s saints,” said the commander-in-chief. “They are always sober, and can be depended upon, and Havelock himself is always ready.” And, surely enough, “Havelock’s saints” were among the enemy in double quick time, and soon gave them as much steel and lead as they had any wish for!

“Every inch a soldier, and every inch a Christian,”–that was an exact description of this man.

Even the day he got married to Hannah Marshman, the missionary’s daughter, he showed that he was a soldier before all else. For, having been suddenly summoned to attend a military court of inquiry at twelve o’clock on his wedding day, he got married at an earlier hour than he had previously arranged, took a quick boat to Calcutta, returning to his bride when his business of the day was finished.

Time passed on, and the leader of “the saints” was still but a junior lieutenant, though he had been seventeen years in the army. Thrice were his hopes of promotion raised, and thrice doomed to disappointment.

Still he murmured not. “I have only two wishes,” he would say. “I pray that in life and death I may glorify God, and that my wife and children may be provided for.”

Heavy trials befel him. Death laid its hand on his little boy Ettrick, and another child was so burnt in a fire that happened at their bungalow that he died also, whilst his beloved wife narrowly escaped the same fate. Yet he bore all this with patience.

Stern commander though he was, his men loved him so much that they wanted to give him a month of their pay to assist him in the loss of means occasioned by the fire.

Though their offer was refused, yet Havelock could not but be thankful for the kind feeling which prompted it.

At length, after over twenty years’ service, he became a captain.

In the Afghan war Havelock was with General Sale at Jellalabad at the time that Dr. Brydon brought the news of the massacre of our men by the Afghans; and during the anxious time that followed he was able to render good service in the field and at the council table.

He fought in the battles of Moodkee, Ferozeshah, and Sobraon. At the first-named he had two horses shot under him; and in all he distinguished himself by coolness and bravery.

When the terrible mutiny broke out in India in the year 1857, the hour of dire emergency had come, and with it had come the man. “Your excellency,” said Sir Patrick Grant, presenting Havelock to Lord Canning, “I have brought the man.”

That was on 17th June, 1857.

Two days later Havelock was appointed to the command of the little army. His instructions were that, “after quelling all disturbances at Allahabad, he should not lose a moment in supporting Sir Henry Lawrence at Lucknow, and Sir Hugh Wheeler at Cawnpore; and that he should take prompt measures for dispersing and utterly destroying all mutineers and insurgents”.

A large order that to tell a commander with 2000 men, to take a dozen fortified places defended by ten times the number of his own force!

Not a moment was to be lost, for both cities were in deadly peril.

Alas! Early on the 1st July came news of the terrible massacre of the Cawnpore garrison,–men, women and children slain in one wanton, heartless slaughter, which still makes the blood run cold to read about.

Out of the 2000 men under Havelock’s command 1400 only were British soldiers. But in that force every man was a hero. Notwithstanding the scorching heat of an Indian summer,–in spite, too, of the fact that a number of the men were obliged to march in heavy garments utterly unsuited to the climate; though death, disease, and a thousand perils lay in front of them,–not a man of Havelock’s “Ironsides” but was impatient to push onward to death or victory.

The general himself was full of humble trust in the Lord, and was in good spirits notwithstanding–perhaps because of–the perils before him. For it is written of him that “he was always as sour as if he had swallowed a pint of vinegar except when he was being shot at,–and then he was as blithe as a schoolboy out for a holiday”.

Sour he was _not_, but he kept splendid discipline among his troops.

“Soldiers,” he said as they set out, “there is work before us. We are bound on an expedition whose object is the supremacy of British rule, and to avenge the fate of British men and women.”

The first battle fought was at Futtehpore. Writing to his wife on the same night, Havelock said: “One of the prayers oft repeated throughout my life has been answered, and I have lived to command in a general action…. We fought, and in ten minutes’ time the affair was decided…. But away with vain glory! Thanks to God Almighty, who gave me the victory.”

Day, after day, the men fought and marched–marched and fought. Battle after battle was won against foes of reckless daring, carefully entrenched, amply supplied with big guns, and infinitely superior in numbers.

His men were often half famished. For two whole days they had but one meal, consisting of a few biscuits and porter!

Hearing that some of the women and children were still alive, having escaped the massacre of 27th June, Havelock pressed on with his wearied little army. “With God’s help,” said he, “we shall save them, or every man die in the attempt.”

Nana Sahib himself barred the way to Cawnpore. His 5000 men were well placed in good positions; but they were driven from post to post before the onset of the British.

“Now, Highlanders!” shouted Havelock, as the men halted to re-form after one of their irresistible onslaughts; “another charge like the last wins the day!”

And again the Scots scattered the enemy, at the bayonet’s point.

The sun was far towards the western horizon before the battle was finally over. The mutineers were brave men; and, though beaten, retreated, reformed, and fought again.

The enemy had rallied at a village; and Havelock’s men, after their day’s fight, lagged a little when, having gone over ploughed fields and swamps, they came again under fire.

[Illustration: THE RELIEF OF LUCKNOW.]

But their general rode out under fire of the guns, and, smiling as a cannon ball just missed him by a hairsbreadth, said:–

“Come, who is to take that village–the Highlanders or the 64th?”

That was enough: pell-mell went both regiments upon the enemy, who had a bad quarter of an hour between the two.

Cawnpore was won; but, alas! the women and children had been slain whilst their countrymen had been fighting for their deliverance. And Lucknow was not yet to be relieved.

For after advancing into Oude Havelock found that constant fighting, cholera, sunstroke and illness had so reduced his numbers that to go on would risk the extermination of his force.

He therefore returned to await reinforcements. By the time these arrived, Sir James Outram had been appointed general of the forces in India; but he generously refused to accept the command till Lucknow had been relieved, saying that, Havelock having made such noble exertions, it was only right he should have the honour of leading the troops till this had been done.

So he accompanied the army as a volunteer; and again the men fought their way, this time right through the mutineers, accomplishing their object by the first relief of Lucknow.

On the evening of 28th September, the soldiers reached the Residency, where the British had been shut up for so long face to face with death. The last piece of fighting was the worst they had had to face. Fired at from roof and window by concealed foes, they marched on with unwavering courage, and those who reached the Residency had a reward such as can come to few in this life.

As the women and children frantic with joy rushed to welcome their rescuers the stern-set faces of the Highlanders changed to joy and gladness; hunger, thirst, wounds, weariness–all were forgotten as they clasped hands with those for whom they had fought and bled.

“God bless you,” they exclaimed; “why, we expected to have found only your bones!”

“And the children living too!”

Women and children, civilians and soldiers, gave themselves up to pure gladness of heart, and in that meeting all thought of past woes and dangers faded away.

After a series of the most thrilling incidents the world has known, Lucknow was finally relieved by Sir Colin Campbell.

When Havelock came from the Residency to meet the troops the men flocked round him cheering, and their enthusiasm brought tears to the veteran’s eyes.

On the 17th November Lucknow was relieved, and on the 24th Havelock died. “I have,” he said to Outram in his last illness, “for forty years so ruled my life that when death came I might face it without fear.”



In St. Paul’s Cathedral there stands a monument representing a man with a key in his right hand and a scroll in his left, whilst on the pedestal from which he looks down are pictured relics of the prison life of the past. The man is John Howard, who travelled tens of thousands of miles, and spent many years in visiting gaols all over England and the Continent, and in endeavouring to render prison life less degrading and brutalising. Wherever he went prison doors were unlocked as if he possessed a magic key; and by his life and books he did more to help prisoners than any other man.

It is only just over a hundred years since John Howard died; yet in his day persons could be put to death for stealing a horse or a sheep, for robbing dwellings, for defrauding creditors, for forgery, for wounding deer, for killing or maiming cattle, for stealing goods to the value of five shillings, or even for cutting a band in a hop plantation. And many persons who were innocent of any offence would lie in dungeons for years!

At his father’s death John Howard came into possession of a good property; and, marrying a lady some years older than himself, settled down on his estate and passed three years of quiet happiness.

Then a great grief came to him. His wife died, and Howard was bowed down with sorrow.

But the distress brought with it a longing to be a comfort to others; and he set out for Lisbon, which had just been visited by the great earthquake of 1755, with the hope of assisting the homeless and suffering.

France and England were then at war, and on his way thither he was captured by a French vessel and thrown into prison. He was placed in a dark, damp, filthy dungeon, and was half starved. For two months he was kept a prisoner, and as soon as he was free he set about obtaining the release of his fellow captives.

Some years later he became a sheriff of Bedford, and began visiting the prisoners in the gaol where John Bunyan wrote the _Pilgrim’s Progress_.

From the inquiries he made during the course of his visitations he was astonished to find that the gaolers received no salary, and that they lived on what they could make out of the prisoners. As a result it often happened that those who had been acquitted at their trial were kept in prison long afterwards, because they were unable to pay the fees which the gaoler demanded.

Horrified at the state in which he found the prison and at the abuses of justice that prevailed, John Howard determined to find out what was done in other parts of the kingdom, and visited a number of gaols throughout the country. And fearful places he found them to be! Boys who were taken to gaol for the first time were put with old and hardened criminals; the prisons were dirty and ill-smelling; the dungeons were dark and unhealthy; and, unless prisoners could afford to pay for comforts, they were obliged to sleep on cold bare floors, even delicate women not being exempted from such cruel treatment.

At Exeter he found two sailors in gaol, having been fined one shilling each for some trifling offence, and owing L1 15s. 8d. for fees to the gaolers and clerk of the peace. When he visited Cardiff he heard a man had just died in prison after having been there ten years for a debt of seven pounds. At Plymouth he found that three men had been shut up in a little dark room only five and a half feet high, so that they could neither breathe freely nor stand upright.

Hundreds of cases as bad or worse than these did he discover and bring before public notice.

He gave evidence before the House of Commons of what he had seen. Then Acts of Parliament were passed, providing that gaolers should be paid out of the rates, that prisoners who were found not guilty should be set at liberty at once, that the prisons should be kept clean and healthy, and the prisoners properly clothed and attended to.

Determined that these Acts should not remain a dead letter, he went about the country seeing that what Parliament required was actually carried out.

Not contented with what he had already done, he travelled abroad, inspecting the prisons of France, Russia, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, and other countries, in order to see how they compared with those in Great Britain.

Strange to say, he discovered that in a number of cases they were in many ways better; and the prisoners, unlike their fellows in Britain, were generally employed in some useful manner.

When he was in London on one occasion he heard that there had been a revolt in the military prison in the Savoy. Two of the gaolers had been killed, and the rioters held possession of the building. Howard set off for the prison, though he was warned that his life would not be safe if he ventured inside. Nothing daunted, he went amongst the prisoners, and soon persuaded them to go back to their cells peaceably, promising to bring their grievances before the authorities.

At Paris he was unable for a long time to get into that great prison house which then existed called the Bastille. Try as he would, he could gain no admittance. One day when he was passing he went to the gate of the prison, rang the bell and marched in. After passing the sentry he stopped and took a good look at the building, then he had to beat a hasty retreat, and narrowly escaped capture; but by that time he had partly accomplished his object.

When Howard was in Russia the empress sent a message saying she desired to see him; but he returned an answer that he was devoting his time to inspecting prisons, and had no leisure for visiting the palaces of rulers.

At Rome, however, he was prevailed on to go and see the Pope, on the express understanding that he should not be obliged to kiss his holiness’s toe; and he came away with a very pleasant remembrance of the Holy Father.

At Vienna the Emperor Joseph II. specially requested an interview. Howard refused at first to meet the emperor’s wishes; but, on the English ambassador representing good might come of the visit, Howard went to see his majesty, and remained with him two hours in conversation, during which time he made the emperor acquainted with the bad state of some of the Austrian prisons. Once or twice the emperor was angered by Howard’s plainness of speech, but told the ambassador afterwards that he liked the prison reformer all the better for his honesty.

Having made up his mind to see the quarantine establishment at Marseilles, Howard made his way through France, though he was so feared and disliked by the Government that he was warned if he were caught in that country he would be thrown into the Bastille.

He disguised himself as a doctor, and after some narrow escapes arrived at Marseilles and visited the Lazaretto (or place of detention for the infected), though even Frenchmen were forbidden to do so. He took drawings of the place, and then went on a tour to many southern cities. He was at Smyrna while fever was raging with fury, and went amongst the sick and fever-stricken, fearless of the consequences.

In the course of his travels the ship in which he was a passenger was attacked by pirates, and John Howard showed himself as brave in actual battle as he was in fighting abuses; for he loaded the big gun with which the ship was armed nearly up to the muzzle with nails and spikes, and fired it into the pirate crew just in time to save himself and his companions from destruction. The books in which he gave an account of his experiences were eagerly read by the public, and produced a profound effect.

His last journey was to Russia. At Cherson he received an urgent request to visit a lady who had the fever. The place where she lived was many miles off, and no good horses were to be obtained. But he was determined not to disappoint her; so he procured a dray horse and started for his destination on a wintry night, with rain falling in torrents. As a result of this journey he was stricken down by the fever, and died 20th January, 1790.

Howard was a very hard worker, and a man of most frugal habits. He was often up by two o’clock in the morning writing and doing business till seven, when he breakfasted. He ate no flesh food, and drank no wine or spirits. He had a great dislike to any fuss being made about him personally; and, though L1500 was subscribed during his life to erect a memorial, it was, at his earnest desire, either returned to the subscribers or spent in assisting poor debtors.

But after his death a memorial was put up in St. Paul’s, and quite recently a monument has been erected at Bedford, where he first began his labours on behalf of the prisoners.



It was the time of the Indian Mutiny. Lucknow was in the hands of the rebels. Within the Residency Sir James Outram, Sir Henry Havelock, and their troops, were fast shut up, around them a vast multitude of mutineers. But now near at hand was Sir Colin Campbell with the army of relief.

It was difficult, nay, almost impossible, to get a trusty messenger through that multitude of fierce and bloodthirsty foes; and yet it was of the utmost importance that Sir Colin should have some one to tell him what was passing within the Residency, and show him the best route by which his troops could approach.

If any man tried to get through and failed, death–or perhaps worse still, horrible torture–was his certain fate. But there was one man who determined to do it, or die in the attempt. His name was Kavanagh. It was so dangerous a matter that when Sir James Outram heard of his proposal he declared he would not have asked one of his officers to attempt the passage. But in the end he accepted the offer, and Kavanagh prepared for the journey.

Dressing himself as a native soldier, and covering his face and hands with lampblack, he was so altered in appearance that even his friends failed to recognise him. Thus disguised, and accompanied by a native spy named Kunoujee Lal to guide him, he set out. The night, fortunately, was dark and favoured their design. The first thing they did was to ford the Goomtee, a river about a hundred yards wide, and four or five feet deep. Taking off their garments they waded across; but whilst in the water Kavanagh’s courage reached a low ebb, and he wished himself back again. However, they got to the opposite bank in safety, and crouching up a ditch found a grove of trees, where they dressed.

Kavanagh’s confidence had now returned, and he felt so sure of his disguise that he even exchanged a few words with a matchlock-man whom they met. After going on for about half a mile they reached the iron bridge over the river, and here they were challenged by a native officer. Kavanagh kept judiciously in the shade whilst the guide advanced and answered the questions put to him satisfactorily, and they were allowed to proceed. A little further they passed through a number of Sepoys, but these let them go by without inquiry. Having had the good fortune to get unperceived past a sentry who was closely questioning a native, they came into the principal street of Lucknow, jostling against the armed rebels, who would have killed them in a moment had their suspicion been aroused. But no mishap occurred, and after being challenged by a watchman they at last found themselves to their great relief out in the open country.

They were now in the best of spirits, and went along for a few miles in a state of great gladness. Then came a rude shock. They had taken the wrong direction, and were returning into the midst of the rebels. It was an awful awakening for Kavanagh. Suppose the spy after all were playing him false. It seemed an extraordinary mistake to have made. Happily it was stupidity not treason that had caused the disastrous loss of time, and the guide was full of sorrow for his error.

There was nothing now to be done but to return as quickly as possible; but they were for a while in an awkward fix, as they could get no one to direct them.

A man whom they asked declared he was too old to guide them, another on being commanded to lead them ran off shouting and alarmed the village. It was now midnight, so there was no time to be lost. They made for the canal, into which Kavanagh fell several times, for his shoes were wet and slippery, and he was footsore and weary. By this time the shoes he wore had rubbed the skin off his toes and cut into the flesh above the heels.

About two o’clock in the morning they came across a picket of Sepoys, and, thinking it safer not to try and avoid them, went up and asked the way. Having answered the inquiries put to them without exciting suspicion, they were directed aright.

They now made for Sir Colin’s camp, which the spy told him was situated at a village called Bunnee, about eighteen miles from Lucknow. The moon had risen by this time, and they could now see their way clearly. About three o’clock a villager observing them approach called out a Sepoy guard of twenty-five men, who asked them all kinds of questions. Kunoujee Lal now got frightened, for the first time; and threw away the letter he had received, for fear of being taken, but Kavanagh kept his in his turban. At last they satisfied the guard that they were poor men travelling to the village of Umroola to inform a friend of the death of his brother, and they were directed on their perilous road.

Hardly had they got through one difficulty than they were into another. For now they found themselves in a swamp, where they waded for two hours up to their waists in water. This might have proved the worst accident of all, for in forcing his way through the weeds nearly all the black was washed off Kavanagh’s hands. Had they after this been seen by the enemy there would have been little chance of either of them reaching the British lines alive.

Much against the spy’s advice, Kavanagh now insisted on a quarter of an hour’s rest, for he was about worn out. After this they passed between two of the enemy’s pickets who, happily for them, had no sentries thrown out, and reached a grove of trees. Here he asked Kunoujee Lal to see if there was any one who could tell them where they were. Before they had gone far, however, they heard with joy the English challenge, “Who goes there?” They had reached a British cavalry outpost, and Kavanagh’s eyes filled with tears as he shook the officer’s hand. They took him into a tent, gave him some dry clothes and refreshment; and he thanked God for having preserved him through the perils of that awful night.

All through the British camp spread the tale of Kavanagh’s brave deed; and the enthusiasm of officers and men alike knew no bounds.

The information he was able to give proved of the greatest assistance; and a little later he had the honour of conducting Sir James Outram and Sir Henry Havelock into the presence of Sir Colin Campbell, and witnessed the meeting of these three great commanders.

When the army of relief forced its way into Lucknow, Kavanagh was always near the commander-in-chief; and, when at length they drew near to the besieged, he was one of the first at the Residency, and as he approached a loud cheer burst forth from his old associates. “It is Kavanagh!” they shouted. “He is the first to relieve us. Three cheers for him!”

In consideration of his gallant services he received the Victoria Cross, and was afterwards made Assistant-Commissioner of Oude.



In the autumn of 1893 a police force of forty men, under the command of Captain E.A.W. Lendy, Inspector-General of Police, in Sierra Leone, was sent to open a road to Koinadugu, which, owing to the war with the Sofas, had been closed.

It was no easy task to perform. The men had to cut their way through a dense jungle. This was heavy and tiring work, and, owing to the fact that for a month past they had been obliged to exist on a small quantity of rice, they were not in the best condition to undertake such labour.

However, so as to get the road finished as quickly as possible they worked from sunrise to sunset. Even the night slid not bring them rest and peace; for the rain descended in such a manner as to add to the discomfort of their situation.

On the 4th of November the force arrived at the Sell or Roquelle river. The stream was eighty yards wide. There was no bridge over it, but only a creeper rope tied across from bank to bank.

The river was very full, and a swift current was running; two hundred yards below, the noise of falls sounded a warning note, and it was known that alligators infested the district.

No wonder, then, that the natives were terrified at the idea of attempting to swim across.

Yet the river lay between Captain Lendy’s force and the food and rest it needed. So, though owing to the privations the men had endured their vital powers were at a low ebb, yet, with starvation staring them in the face they must make the passage–alligators and falls notwithstanding.

The first to cross were two policemen, who, after a difficult journey, got safe to the other side.

Then followed a scene of excitement and danger. Private Momo Bangura and Sergeant Smith were the next pair to start. Hardly had they reached midstream when Bangura’s rifle band, slipping over his arms, pinned them to his side.

Smith gallantly went to the rescue; but it was difficult enough for him to get along alone; and, with Bangura to support, he quickly became exhausted. After shouting for help, he and his companion disappeared from view beneath the waters.

At once two other men went to Bangura’s assistance, giving Smith an opportunity of looking to his own safety.

But it seemed a hopeless struggle. Worn by their previous exertions, the men were unable to give any permanent help to Bangura, and were in their turn dragged under several times in their efforts to afford him assistance. Indeed, it now seemed that, in spite of all the bravery shown, Bangura’s fate was sealed, if not that of his would-be rescuers also.

It was a terrible predicament. Four men were struggling in the seething waters in deadly danger. Too brave and resolute to leave their comrade-in-arms, too feeble to procure his safety, they were wearing out their strength in futile though heroic efforts, whilst the object of their solicitude was at his last gasp.

At this moment their brave commander came to the rescue, and at once changed the aspect of affairs.

Diving into the stream he soon reached the drowning man; and the others, released from their burden, were now able to give their undivided attention to self-preservation.

The supreme moment had arrived. Would Captain Lendy’s efforts end as the others had done? If so, it is probable that all would have found a watery grave in the Roquelle; for, exhausted though they were, the three other men were far too fond of their commander to have left him to perish alone.

It was for a time a stern fight with death. But Lendy was cool, calm, resourceful. Yard by yard the distance between the further shore was lessened, notwithstanding the race of the waters toward the falls. Foot by foot he drew nearer to safety, though the man lay like a log in the grasp of his rescuer, unable to assist in the struggle that was going on.

At length the shadow of death was dissipated; for the gallant soldier managed to land his burden on the further shore, which the others had already reached.

The end of the stern combat with the waters was particularly gratifying, as several men had previously lost their lives in crossing the same river.

The silver medal of the Royal Geographical Society was awarded to Captain Lendy, and a bronze medal given to his brave followers.

But, alas! Lendy did not live to receive his medal. Ere it could reach him he had fallen in a night attack which the French made by mistake upon our forces, supposing them to be natives whom they were seeking to punish. Ere the error was discovered the loss on both sides was serious, and in the conflict her Majesty was deprived of the services of a devoted and faithful servant by the death of heroic Captain E.A.W. Lendy.

The little block in this page is a reproduction of Momo Bangura’s statement forwarded to the Colonial Office, duly witnessed by his companions’ signatures.

Pte Momo. Bangurah’s Statement.

My name is Pte Momo Bangurah. I am a private in the Frontier Police Force. On the 4th instant I tried to cross over the Seli River. I slung my rifle across my shoulder half way across, the sling slipped and so I could not use my arms. I sank but Sergeant Smith caught me. I dragged him down twice and called out for help. Corporal Sambah and Parkins then kept me up but the stream was so strong, that we were taken under several times. I thought my last moment had come. I remember Captain Lendy seizing me and then I forgot everything till I found myself being rubbed on shore. If it had not been for Captain Lendy Sergeant Smith Corporals Samba and Parkins, I know I should have been drowned and I thank them for their assistance.

(sd) Momo Bangur

his mark.


(sd) Benoni Johnson Sub Inspr. F.P. ” R.W. Sawyer Sergt
” S. Jenkins Coker Sergt
” Emanuel R. Palmer Sergt



The leader of the great temperance movement in England–Joseph Livesey, of Preston–had a very bad start in life.

He was quite poor; he lost both father and mother from consumption when he reached his eighth year; he was frail and delicate; his brothers and sisters all died young; so that he seemed ill fitted to make any headway in the race of life.

His grandfather, who adopted him, failed in business; and Joseph Livesey commenced his career by doing the work of a domestic servant, as well as toiling at the loom.

“As we were too poor to keep a servant,” he says, “and having no female help except to wash the clothes and occasionally clean up, I may be said to have been the housekeeper.”

But, whilst he was weaving in the cellar where his grandfather and uncle also worked, he was at the same time gaining knowledge day by day.

When his pocket money of a penny a week was increased to threepence, he felt himself on the high road to wealth, and ere long he was the possessor of a Bible and a grammar, which he set himself to study whenever he could get a spare moment.

One can scarcely realise the difficulties that lay in the way of a studious boy in those days. A newspaper cost sevenpence; there were no national schools or Sunday schools, no penny publications, no penny postage, no railways, no gas, and no free libraries, and no free education! Yet so resolute was he in his desire for education that, though he was not even allowed a candle after the elders went to bed, he would sit up till late at night reading by the glow of the embers.

It is sad enough to see the number of families that are ruined by drink at the present time; but in Livesey’s early days people suffered even more from drunkenness than they do now.

The weavers used to keep Monday as a day of leisure; and the public-houses were crowded from morning till night with men and women, who drank away their earnings to the last penny.

In the church to which Joseph Livesey belonged the ringers and singers were hard drinkers, the gravedigger was a drunkard, and the parish clerk was often intoxicated!

Living amidst so much sin and misery, this frail lad determined to strive his hardest to assist others. He found Sunday a day of rest and rejoicing to him “a feast of good things,” and became a Sunday-school teacher and preacher.

So far as worldly matters went he was not at all successful in early life. Weaving was so badly paid that he tried several other trades, but only to meet with failure.

At the age of twenty he received a legacy of a few pounds; and soon after, having saved a little money, married a good and true woman, who helped him much throughout life.

“Our cottage,” says Mr. Livesey in his autobiography, “though small, was like a palace; for none could excel my Jenny for cleanliness and order. I renovated the garden, and made it a pleasant place to walk in. On the loom I was most industrious, working from early in the morning often till ten, and sometimes later, at night; and she not only did all the house work, but wound the bobbins for three weavers–myself, uncle, and grandfather; and yet, with all this apparently hard lot, these were happy days.”

But it was not all sunshine at first. He fell ill, and the doctor ordered him better living than he had been getting; and where the money was to come from to get more nourishing food Livesey knew not.

He had been ordered to take some cheese in the forenoon, so he bought a piece at about eightpence a pound; and as he munched it came this thought: cheese wholesale cost but fivepence per pound; would it not be possible to buy a piece wholesale and sell it to his friends, so that he too might have the benefit of getting it at this low price?

No sooner thought of than done. But, when he had finished weighing out the cheese to his friends, he found he had made, quite unexpectedly, a profit of eighteenpence, and that it was more than he could have gained by a great deal of weaving.

So he changed his trade: weaving gave place to cheese mongering; and, after some very hard work and persevering efforts, he placed himself beyond the reach of poverty.

Now came the important moment of his life. One day in settling a bargain he drank a glass of whisky. It was, he said, the best he ever drank, because it was the last. For the sensation it produced made him resolve he would never again taste a drop of intoxicating liquor.

Finding himself the better for this course, he soon tried to get others to join him. His first convert to _total abstinence_ was a man named John King; Livesey and he signed together; and on 1st September, 1832, at a meeting held at Preston, seven men–“the Seven Men of Preston,” as they are called–signed the pledge, of which the following is a facsimile:–

[Handwritten: We agree to _abstain_ from all Liquors of an _Intoxicating Quality_, whether ale porter Wine, or Ardent Spirits, except as Medicine.

John Gratix
Edw’d Dickinson
Jno: Broadbelt
Jno: Smith
Joseph Livesey
David Anderson
Jno: Ring.]

It was a terrible struggle for these men at first. They were laughed at, they were abused, they were persecuted; but the more people tried to put them down the harder they fought; and soon hundreds and thousands had joined their ranks, and the movement spread throughout the kingdom.

“There is more food in a pennyworth of bread,” said Livesey, “than in a gallon of ale”; and he proved it. He lectured far and wide; and, though he met with much opposition, facts in the end prevailed.

He was not only a temperance advocate, but an earnest worker for the good of others in various directions. He visited the sick, and helped them. When the railways came he started cheap trips to the seaside for working people, and was never happier than when he was helping the poor and unfortunate.

Joseph Livesey is a striking example of the benefits to health derived from teetotalism, as he lived to the good old age of ninety.



It is past ten o’clock at night. A little boy fond of going about the country in search of plants has returned home. Finding the door of his father’s house locked, and fearing to awaken his parents, he settles down contentedly on the step to spend the night there. Then a woman’s hand quietly unbolts the door and receives the little wanderer back. The boy is David Livingstone. Now-a-days we know him as one of the greatest missionary explorers of our times.

A stern father, a loving mother, both godly and upright people–such were the parents of David; and he respected and loved them with a true and constant affection.

The boy was fond of learning–so fond indeed that when he was at the factory he would keep his book open before him on the spinning machine. Most people think “one thing at a time” is a very good maxim–David thought two things at a time was even better.

At home he was ever ready to lend a hand at house work to save his mother. “If you bar the door, mother,” he would say, “I’ll wash the floor;” and wash the floor he did, times without number!

In later life he used to say he was glad he had thus toiled; and that, if it were possible to begin life again, he would like to go through just the same hard training.

He got on quickly at lessons, and became, like his father, a total abstainer for life. He was fond of serious books; and, reading the lives of Christian missionaries, he began to wish to be one himself. Ere long he journeyed from Blantyre near Glasgow (where he had been working as a factory hand) to London, to prepare for going abroad as a missionary.

His first address was not very promising. He gave out his text, and then was obliged to confess that his sermon had quite gone out of his mind.

In the year 1840 David Livingstone, being then just over twenty-seven years old, went out to South Africa as a missionary. He made his way up country to the furthest district in which the London Missionary Society then had a station. There he taught the Hottentots, and his heart was ere long rejoiced by the change which took place in them.

Before leaving home he had studied medicine, and passed his examination satisfactorily; and this knowledge of healing he found most useful. His patients, the poor African blacks, would walk a hundred miles to seek his advice, and his waggon was followed by a great crowd of sick folk anxious to be healed.

He studied the language of the tribes amongst whom he was ministering; and soon the people were able to sing in their own tongue, “There is a fountain filled with blood,” “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun,” and other beautiful hymns which delight the hearts of those in our own land.

Whilst he was gaining the affection of the natives, he did not forget his loved ones at home; and out of his scanty salary of about L100 a year he sent L20 to his parents.

Before he had been long in Africa he had an adventure which nearly cost him his life. In the parts where he was teaching, the lions were very troublesome, and would come by night and seize cattle. Sometimes even they would venture into the gardens and carry off women and children. So the people got together an expedition to go and hunt the lions, and Livingstone joined them. After they had been on the track for some time, and several lions had escaped owing to the fright of the natives, Livingstone saw one sitting on a rock about thirty yards off. He took careful aim and fired both barrels of his gun, wounding it badly.

The people thought it was, dead, and were going towards it, but Livingstone made them keep back and began reloading. Before he had finished, the lion sprang upon him, caught him by the shoulder, and began shaking and tearing him so badly that he was utterly overcome. Two persons who tried to help him were bitten by the lion. But just when it looked as if the missionary’s life had reached its last day, the lion suddenly fell down dead from the effect of the bullets which he had fired into it.

Four years after he had been in Africa he married Mary Moffat, the missionary’s daughter. She was a true helpmate, and in the trials and difficulties which beset him his way was made clearer and brighter by this good and loving woman.


He could not always take his wife with him, as the districts he explored were so wild and savage. He ran risks of death by thirst, by hostile tribes and disease, and went through terrible places where no woman could have lived. But on many a long and perilous journey she went with him. “When I took her,” writes Livingstone, “on two occasions to Lake Ngami and far beyond, she endured more than some who have written large books of travel.”

One of Livingstone’s first mission stations was Mabotsa, where he stayed a year, and in that short time gained the love of the people. When he thought it well to move on farther north the natives offered to build him a new house, schools, anything he wished if he would only stay.

But he had made up his mind that it was best to go to fresh districts rather than stay in places where there were already teachers, and therefore proceeded forty miles further on to Chonuane. Here he met with almost immediate success. The chief, Sechele by name, became a convert and was able in a few weeks to read the Bible. Isaiah was his favourite book. “He was a fine man, that Isaiah,” remarked Sechele; “he knew how to speak.”

This chief would have been willing to help Livingstone to convert his tribe at a great pace, only his method was not to the missionary’s liking.

“Do you think,” said Sechele, “you can make my people believe by talking to them? I can make them do nothing except by thrashing them, and if you like I shall call my headman, and with our whips of rhinoceros hide we will soon make them all believe together!”

Like all missionaries, Livingstone was doomed to suffer disappointments. Thus after labouring at Kolobeng for ten years the Boers, annoyed with him for endeavouring to teach them that the natives should be treated with kindness and consideration, made an attack on his house when he was absent. They slaughtered a number of the men and women, carried away 200 children into slavery, and burnt down the mission station. Livingstone was deeply grieved about the capture of the children, but as to his own loss he merely says: “The Boers by taking possession of all my goods have saved me the trouble of making a will”.

Still on, on into the dark continent went Livingstone. Not dark to him, for he loved the natives and possessed such powers of attraction that wherever he settled he won their affections.

After taking leave of Sechele he travelled several hundred miles to the territory of Sebituane.

On the road Livingstone and his family had a terribly anxious time. The water in the waggons was all but finished, they were passing through a desert land, their guide had left them. The children were suffering from thirst; his wife, though not uttering a word of reproach, was in an agony of anxiety for her little ones, and Livingstone was fearful lest they should perish in this desert country. When hope had nearly vanished some of the party who had gone out searching for water returned with a supply. They were soon after welcomed by Sebituane, the greatest chief in Central Africa, who gave them food to eat, soft skins to lie upon, and made much of them.

After the death of Sebituane his son Sekeletu was equally friendly, as may be gathered from this page of Livingstone’s diary, which, by the kindness of his daughter, Mrs. Bruce, I am permitted to reproduce.


This entry in his diary was written on the eve of Livingstone’s great journey to the West Coast. Having sent his wife and family to England, he determined to find a way from the centre of Africa to the West Coast. It was a forlorn hope; but, says Livingstone, “Cannot the love of Christ carry the missionary where the slave trade carries the trader? I shall open up a path to the interior or perish.”

On the 11th of November, 1853, he left Linyante, having overcome Sekeletu’s objection to let him go, and arrived at Loando, on the West Coast, on 31st May, 1854, after a variety of adventures, and being reduced by fever to a mere skeleton.

The sight of the sea, which gladdened Livingstone’s heart, astonished his native escort beyond description. “We were marching along with our father,” they said, “believing that what the ancients had told us was true–that the world had no end; but all at once the world said to us, ‘I am finished, there is no more of me’.”

At Loando friends tried to persuade Livingstone to go to England by sea, but he had promised Sekeletu to return with the men who accompanied him on his great journey, and would not be turned from his purpose. And he arrived at Linyante on the return journey with every one of the 27 men he had taken with him safe and sound!

After this followed the journey to the East Coast ending at Quilemane.

Besides discovering several large lakes, Livingstone was the first to see the Falls of the Zambesi, which he named the Victoria Falls, after her Majesty the Queen. The water at these falls dashes down in torrents, a sheer depth of 320 feet, the spray rises mountains high and can be seen many miles away, whilst its sound is like the noise of thunder.

Numerous were the expeditions he made. In the course of these he traversed thousands of miles of country before untrodden by the feet of Europeans. His fame had now spread to the four quarters of the globe, and he had published several volumes giving an account of his explorations.

In January, 1873, he started on his last journey. In April, after suffering intensely from constant illness, he got to a place near Lake Bemba; and here he told his followers to build a hut for him to die in. On the 27th April he wrote the last entry in his diary, viz., “Knocked up quite, and remain–recover–sent to buy milch cows. We are on the banks of the Molilamo.” When on the 1st May his followers went into the hut they found the great explorer kneeling by his bedside–dead.

Great was their grief and great was the sorrow of all in this country when the news reached Britain of his decease.

But the little factory boy had done such a great work that no place was good enough for his remains but Westminster Abbey.



George Moore was born in Cumberland in 1807. His father was a small farmer. He had the misfortune to lose his mother when he was six years old; but his father was a good and pious man, whose example had a great effect upon him.

The lad was shrewd and earnest, and showed a power of thinking and acting for himself.

At one time he worked for his brother in return for his board and lodging; but wishing to make some money for himself he asked the neighbouring farmers to give him some extra work to do, for which he got wages.

By the time he was ten years old he was able to earn as much as eighteenpence a day, and at twelve years old did the work and earned the wages of a full-grown man.

He had had but little schooling, and his master was one of those persons who thought the best way to get learning implanted in a boy’s mind was by forcing it into him at the point of the ruler. He beat his boys much, but taught them little.

To finish his education his father sent George for one quarter to a better school. The cost was only eight shillings, but the boy then got an idea for the first time of the value of learning.

He determined not to return to farm life, believing he could do better for himself in a town. So at about thirteen years of age George Moore began his business life as apprentice to a draper at Wigton.

He did not make at all a pleasant or successful start. His work was very hard. He had to light fires, clean windows, groom horses, and make himself generally useful. His master was fond of drink, and George had to get his meals at a public-house. One of his duties was to serve out spirits to customers who made good purchases.

All things considered, it is perhaps not surprising that he got into bad habits himself. He began to gamble at cards, sitting up often nearly all night, and losing or winning considerable sums of money.

At last a change came in a rather unexpected manner. George lodged at his master’s house, and when he went out to play was accustomed to leave a window unfastened so that he could let himself in without rousing the household. Somehow or other his master found out this plan, and determined to put a stop to it. So one night when George had gone out he nailed down the window, and when the apprentice returned home in the early hours of the morning he found himself locked out. Nothing daunted he climbed on to the roof and managed to get in through his bedroom window.

But he narrowly escaped being discharged, and on thinking the matter over he saw how great was his folly. So he determined, with God’s help, to give up his evil ways, and was enabled to lead a better life in future.

As soon as his apprenticeship was up George Moore resolved to try his fortune in London. At first everything went against him. He tramped the streets of the city from morn till eve, calling here, there and everywhere, seeking for employment, and finding no one to give him a trial. At last he made up his mind to go to America. One day, however, he received from a Cumberland man engaged in the drapery trade a request to call upon him. To his intense delight he was engaged, receiving a salary of thirty pounds a year.

George had now got his foot on the first round of the ladder, and made up his mind to climb higher. So he at once took lessons at a night school, and worked hard at self-education.

Then he got a better place; but, for a time, had to bear much abuse from his master, who declared that, although he had come across many blockheads from Cumberland, George was the stupidest one of all! Still he bore the reproaches of his employer good-naturedly, and before long made his mark. He was offered the position of town traveller, and soon proved himself to be one of the cleverest business men of the time.

Before this, however, George had made up his mind about marriage. Seeing his master’s little daughter come into the shop he was much struck by her appearance, and remarked that, if he were ever able to marry, that girl should be his wife. His companions laughed at him heartily; but, as a matter of fact, he did marry that girl, though she refused him the first time he asked.

From this it will be seen that George Moore was no ordinary youth; and before he had been travelling for his firm long, they discovered his value. So did another firm, which found he was taking away their business, and offered him L500 a year to travel for them. But George told them nothing less than a partnership would satisfy him; and as they were determined to secure his services they gave it him, and at the age of twenty-three George Moore became junior partner in the famous house of Groucock & Copestake, to which the name of Moore was then added.

His fortune was thus early made, and his business life was one continued series of successes. He had an immense capacity for work, and boasted that for twelve years he laboured sixteen hours a day.

Yet his energies were not confined to business. After a time, when he no longer needed to work so hard for himself, he took up various charitable schemes, and by his intense vigour soon obtained for them remarkable support. The Commercial Travellers’ Schools was one of the institutions in which he took great interest. These schools were built at a cost of about L25,000, the greater portion of which he obtained.

In his native county, in his house of business; everywhere George Moore became famed for his liberal gifts. He spent L15,000 in building a church in one of the poorest districts of London. He visited Paris just after the siege to assist in the distribution of the funds subscribed in England; and to many charitable schemes he subscribed with a generous hand.

In November, 1876, he was knocked down in the streets of Carlisle by a runaway horse, and carried into the hospital to die. He had expressed a wish when he was in good health to be told when he was dying; so his wife said to him, “We have often talked about heaven. Perhaps Jesus is going to take you home. You are willing to go with Him, are you not?”

“Yes,” he replied; “I fear no evil … He will never leave me, nor forsake me.”



In the year 1805 was born in Prussia George Mueller, whose orphanages at Ashley Down, Bristol, may be regarded as one of the modern wonders of the world.

His father intended that George should become a minister, but the lad in his early days showed no signs of a desire to set apart his life to good works. He had the misfortune to lose his mother when he was fourteen years old, and though he was confirmed in 1820 no deep impression had been made by God’s grace in his heart.

When he was sixteen he went to Brunswick, and putting up at an hotel lived expensively, and had to part with his best clothes to pay the bill. Later on, for leaving an hotel without paying, he was put in prison, and had to stay there till the money was sent for his release.

He had, indeed, grown so hardened that he could tell lies without blushing. He pretended to lose some money which had been sent to him, and his friends gave him more to replace it. He got into debt, and pawned his clothes in order to procure the means to go to taverns and places of amusement.

But the hand of God was upon him, and he did not do these things without suffering in his mind. About this time too he began to study the Bible earnestly.

At the age of twenty the great change came. He attended a prayer meeting, and there his eyes became opened, and he saw there was no hope for him but in Christ. He read the Bible anew, and from that time commenced leading a _new life_.

When he was about twenty-four years old Mueller came over to England, and settled at Teignmouth as pastor of a small church. He refused to have any regular salary or to receive pew rents, taking only such offerings as his congregation wished to give him. Sometimes he had no money left at all; at others he had only just enough food for one meal, and knew not where the means were coming from for the next. Yet he trusted entirely in God, and was never left in want.

After this he went to Bristol, and seeing many poor children uncared for laid the matter before God; and, believing it to be His will that he should try to provide some place of rest for these little ones, he took a house large enough to contain thirty girls.

Rather a remarkable thing happened in connection with the opening of the Home. The money had been supplied, and preparations had been made to receive the children, but none sought admission!

Mueller cast about in his mind as to why this should be so, and he discovered that whilst he had asked God for money to open the Home and for helpers, he had forgotten to pray that the children might be sent; and to this he attributed such a strange occurrence.

Still, the omission was soon rectified, and the Home ere long teemed with children.

This was in 1834. From such a small beginning the great Orphan Homes on Ashley Down sprang. Every need connected with the progress of the work was made the subject of prayer by George Mueller and his earnest band of workers.

Again and again he has not known where to turn for the next meal for his orphans; but, as if by a miracle, supplies have been _always_ forthcoming. Though often in great straits Mr. Mueller has never asked for help except of God, and _never_ has that help been denied.

The following extract from his journal will show the trials to which Mr. Mueller has been subjected: “Never were we so reduced in funds as to-day. There was not a single halfpenny in hand between the matrons of the three orphan houses. There was a good dinner, and by managing to help one another by bread, etc., there was a prospect of getting over the day also; but for none of the houses had we the prospect of being able to take in bread. When I left the brethren and sisters at one o’clock after prayer I told them that we must wait for help, and see how the Lord would deliver us this time.” About twenty yards from his home he met a person interested in the Homes who gave him L20. This is but a sample of many occasions upon which, having waited upon God in simple faith, help has arrived at the very hour it has been needed.

Some paragraphs in Mueller’s yearly reports read almost like a fairy story, only they are far more beautiful, being a record of _facts_. Thus in May, 1892, when the financial year of the institution began, they had in hand for their School, Bible, Missionary and Tract funds only L17 8s. 5-1/2 d.

In June of that year a packet was found at Hereford Railway Station containing eleven sovereigns, addressed to Mr. Mueller, with nothing but these words inside, “From a Cheerful Giver, Bristol, for Jesus’ Sake”. In the same month came L100, “from two servants of the Lord Jesus, who, constrained by the love of Christ, seek to lay up treasure in Heaven”.

A Newcastle man wrote that though finances were low he doubled the sum usually sent to the institution, “in faith and also with much joy”. A sick missionary in the wilds of Africa sent L44 17s. 5d., being apparently all the money he possessed.

“Again and again,” writes Mr. Mueller, “I have had cheques amounting even to L5000, from individuals whose names I knew not before receiving their donations.”

Other paragraphs in the report read thus: “Received anonymously five large cheeses; received a box of dessert knives and forks, a cruet, a silver soup ladle and a silver cup; from Clifton, twelve tons house coals; from Bedminster, a monster loaf, 200 lbs. in weight, and ten feet long and twenty-one inches broad”.

On 1st August L82 5s. came “from a Christian gentleman in Devon, who for more than forty-five years has from time to time helped us, though I have never seen him”.

“To-day,” writes Mueller on 7th September, “our income altogether was about L300–a plain proof that we do not wait on the Lord in vain; for every donation we receive is a direct answer to prayer, because we never ask a single human being for anything.” On 29th October Mr. Mueller writes: “For several days very little has come in for the support of the various objects of the institution. To-day, again, only about L15 was received by the first four deliveries of letters; at 5:45 I had for the third time that day prayer with my dear wife, entreating God to help us, and a little after 6 p.m. came a cheque for L200 by the fifth delivery, from Edinburgh.”

A gold chain and watch-key, two gold brooches, and a pair of earrings were sent to Mr. Mueller, with the following comment: “My wife and I having, through the exceeding riches of God’s grace, been brought to the Lord Jesus, wish to lay aside the perishing gold of the world for the unsearchable riches of Christ, and send the enclosed for the support of the orphans”.

The above are from a single yearly report–that for 1893. Scores of similar donations in money and kind are recounted in the same annual statement. In that year Mr. Mueller was able to speak of his conversion as having taken place nearly sixty-eight years ago. The work has been wonderfully blessed. In the report mentioned Mr. Mueller stated that the total amount he had received by prayer and faith for the various objects of his institutions, since 5th March, 1834, had been L1,309,627; that no fewer than 8727 children had been under his care; and that he had room at his Homes for 2050 orphans.



“Oh, mother! ask what you will, and I shall do it.”

So said Robert Moffat as he stood with his mother on the Firth of Forth waiting for the boat to ferry him across.

He was sixteen years old, and having got a good situation as gardener in Cheshire was bidding farewell that day to home and parents, and about to face the world alone.

His mother had begged him to promise to do whatsoever she asked, and he had hesitated, wishing to know first what it was that she wanted. At last, however, remembering how good and loving she had always been, he had consented. Her request was a very simple one, but it was very far reaching.

“I only ask whether you will read a chapter in the Bible every morning and another every evening.”

“Mother,” he replied, “you know I read my Bible.”

“I know you do,” was her answer; “but you do not read it regularly, or as a duty you owe to God, its Author.”

“Now I shall return home,” she observed when his word had been pledged, “with a happy heart, inasmuch as you have promised to read the Scriptures daily. O Robert, my son, read much in the New Testament! Read much in the Gospels–the blessed Gospels! Then you cannot well go astray. If you pray, the Lord Himself will teach you.”

Thus they parted–he starting on his life’s journey with her earnest pleadings ringing in his ears.

Travelling in those days (1813) was so slow that it took him a full month to get to High Leigh in Cheshire; and on the way he narrowly escaped being captured by the pressgang and made to serve on a British man-of-war, which was short of hands. The vessel in which he was going south was indeed boarded, and one man seized; but Robert says, “I happened to be in bed, and keep it there as long as they were on deck”.

He kept manfully the promise he had made his mother. Notwithstanding the difficulty he experienced in his busy life of setting aside the necessary time for reading two chapters a day from his Bible, he nevertheless faithfully did it.

At first this practice seemed to bring him trouble. It made him feel that he was a sinner, but how to get grace he knew not.

Ere long, however, his fears rolled away. He perceived that being justified by faith he had peace with Christ, and rejoiced in the grace and power of the Lord.

Some good Wesleyans took an interest in the young gardener, and he attended their meetings, which he found very helpful.

When a little later on he was offered a much better situation on the condition that he gave up Methodism he refused it, preferring, as he says, “his God to white and yellow ore”.

One day he went to Warrington, and whilst there saw a placard announcing a missionary meeting, at which the Rev. William Roby was to speak. The sight of this reminded him of the descriptions his mother used to read of mission work in Greenland, and the subject became fixed in his mind.

A little later he had the opportunity of hearing Mr. Roby, and determined to call upon him and offer himself for mission work.

So great was his dread of making this call that he asked a companion to accompany him, and be present at the interview, but could only induce his friend to wait for him outside.

When he got to Mr. Roby’s door his courage failed him; he looked longingly at his friend and began to retreat. However, his conscience would not allow him to surrender; and back again he went to the house, but still feared to knock.

At length after walking up and down the street in a state of painful indecision he returned and ventured to knock. A terrible moment followed. He would have given anything to run away, and hoped with all his heart Mr. Roby would be out.

This, however, was not the case; and, brought face to face with the mission preacher, he told his story simply and effectively, and Mr. Roby promised to write to the Missionary Society about him.

At first the offer of his services was declined, but later on it was accepted; and on 30th September, 1816, he was ordained at Surrey Chapel. Amongst others set apart at the same time was John Williams, the martyr of Erromanga.

It was at first proposed that Williams and Moffat should go together to Polynesia; but Mr. Waugh remarked that “thae twa lads were ower young to gang together,” so they were separated.

At the age of twenty-one Moffat sailed for South Africa. The ship reached Cape Town, after a voyage of eighty-six days, on 13th January, 1817; and forthwith he started on his career in receipt of a salary of twenty-five pounds per year.

On his journey into the interior he stopped one evening at a Dutch farmer’s, where he was warmly welcomed, and was requested to conduct family worship.

Before commencing he asked for the servants. The farmer, roused to indignation by such a request, said he would call in the dogs and baboons if Moffat wanted a congregation of that sort!

But the missionary was not to be denied. In reading the Bible he selected the story of the Syrophoenician woman. Before many minutes had passed the farmer stopped him, saying he would have the servants in.

When the service was over the old man said to Moffat, “My friend, you took a hard hammer, and you have broken a hard head”.


His early missionary efforts were crowned with success. He visited the renowned chief Afrikaner in Namaqualand. This man had given much trouble to the Government, and L100 had been offered for his head. He became, however, sincerely attached to Moffat, and after a time he went to Cape Town with him. The authorities could hardly believe that this notorious robber had become so altered; but right glad were they at the change, and, when Afrikaner returned home, he took with him numerous presents from the Government.

In December, 1819, Moffat was married to Mary Smith at St. George’s Church, Cape Town. She had been engaged to him before he left England, and had given up home and parents to go out to Africa and become a missionary’s wife. No truer helper could Moffat have found, for she loved the work, and experienced great happiness in her life, notwithstanding all its toils and danger.

Shortly after, Mr. and Mrs. Moffat started for Bechuanaland. They went through many privations, and suffered much from hunger and thirst; but the Gospel was preached to the tribes. Moffat in those days was not only teacher and preacher, but carpenter, smith, cooper, tailor, shoemaker, miller, baker and gardener!

For some years Moffat laboured without seeing much result. One day he said to his wife, “This is hard work, Mary”. “It _is_ hard work.” she replied; “but you must remember the Gospel has never yet been preached to them _in their own tongue_.”

Moffat had hitherto taught the natives through an interpreter. He now determined not only to master their language, but to get to know all about their habits and customs, so as to be able to lay hold of them more forcibly. He not only preached the Word in their native tongue, but set up in type and printed the Gospel of St. Luke and some hymns. Then he followed on with the other Gospels and also the Epistles, till the entire of the New Testament was translated into their language.

It must not be thought that a missionary’s only cares are those connected with preaching. Far from it. To Mrs. Moffat, who tried to teach the women to be cleanly in their habits, they would say, “Ra Mary, your customs may be good enough for you, but we don’t see that they fill the stomach”.

The difficulty of getting sufficient food to eat was very real. The soil in the neighbourhood of the station was light and needed plenty of water, but the stream which supplied them with the necessary moisture for their vegetables was diverted from its channel by the natives, so that the missionary’s garden was nearly burnt up by the hot sun.

On one occasion Mrs. Moffat asked a native woman to move out of her kitchen, as she wanted to close it before she went to church. For answer the woman hurled a log of wood at her; and she, fearful lest her babe should be hurt, departed, leaving the savage woman in possession of her home.

Whilst Mrs. Moffat had difficulties at home, her husband encountered many dangers abroad. Once whilst going in search of game he came upon a tiger, which seemed as if it were preparing to spring upon him. With the greatest caution he retired slowly from the place, and was just congratulating himself that he was out of danger when he trod on a cobra. The reptile twisted itself about Moffat’s leg, and was about to bite him when he managed to level his gun at it and kill it. The poison of this snake is so deadly that had he been bitten his death would have almost instantly followed.

Though he was ready to lay down his life for their good, it was long ere the natives understood how firm a friend he was. At a time of great drought the native “rain-makers” declared that the bell of the chapel frightened away the clouds. So a number of people came to the missionary, and told him they were determined that he must go. But Moffat was not to be awed by the threats of the warriors. He told them that they might kill him, but he should certainly not be driven away. Then the chief and his followers gave up the contest and retired, full of wonder and admiration at his dauntless determination.

Once, whilst Moffat was away on a visit to a neighbouring tribe, his wife was aroused in the night by the report that a hostile tribe had invaded their territory and was close upon them. So Mrs. Moffat had to prepare for flight, but ere she had finished her preparations the good news came that the tribe had gone off in another direction. Yet even then she was in fear for her husband’s life. But three weeks later, after enduring terrible anxiety, her husband returned in safety, having managed to escape the enemy.

Gradually a great and wonderful change came over the people amongst whom Robert and Mary Moffat lived. From utter disregard of teaching they began to exhibit signs of spiritual life, and a number were baptised and received into the Church.

[Illustration: Letter]

In 1871 Robert and Mary Moffat, after living in Africa for upwards of half a century, returned home. From the letter to Mr. G. Unwin, which is here reproduced in facsimile, it will be seen that Robert Moffat’s labours were not even then finished; for up to the last he took the greatest interest in the missionary cause.

[Illustration: Reduced Facsimile letter from Moffat.]

His useful life came to an end in August, 1883, when he was in his eighty-eighth year.



“Lo! in that house of misery
A lady with a lamp I see
Pass through the glimmering gloom, And flit from room to room.”


“She would speak to one and another, and nod and smile to many more, but she could not do it to all, you know, for we lay there by hundreds; but we could kiss her shadow as it fell, and lay our heads on our pillows again, content.”

So wrote one of the soldiers from the hospital at Scutari of Florence Nightingale, the soldier’s nurse, and the soldier’s friend.

Let us see how it happened that Florence Nightingale was able to do so much for the British soldiers who fought in the Crimea, and why she has left her mark on the history of our times.

Miss Nightingale was born in the city of Florence in the year 1820, and it is from that beautiful Italian town that she derives her Christian name.

Her father was a good and wealthy man, who took great interest in the poor; and her mother was ever seeking to do them some kindness.

Thus Florence saw no little of cottage folk. She took them dainties when they were ailing, and delighted to nurse them when ill.