Waller, The Revd Horace

Reference code(s): GB 0162 MSS. Afr. s. 16
Held at: Bodleian Library - Special Collections
Domain: archival
Title: Waller, The Revd Horace
Date(s) of contents: ca. 1849-1893
Level of description: Fonds
Extent and medium: 10 volumes


Name of creator(s):

Administrative/Biographical history: The Revd. Horace Waller (1832-1896) began his working life as a stockbroker, served as a layman on the first expedition of the Universities' Mission to Central Africa under Bishop Mackenzie, 1861-1863, was ordained on his return to England, and was Rector of Twywell, Northamptonshire, 1874-1895. He numbered among his friends almost all the notable East African explorers and administrators of his day, including Livingstone and Gordon. With Livingstone Waller's relations were especially close. Their first meeting was in 1861, when Waller was with the U.M.C.A. party and Livingstone on the Zambezi expedition. They continued corresponding until 1872, shortly before Livingstone's death.

Custodial history:

Immediate source of acquisition: The papers were presented to the Bodleian Library by Waller's daughters, Lady Hunt and Miss Grace Waller, in [1940].


Scope and content/abstract: Livingstone MSS.. These papers mostly concern Livingstone's African expeditions and time spent in Britain, 1864-1865, but also contain occasional references to the U.M.C.A., slave trade and personal matters. Letters from Livingstone, 1862-1872 Undated letters and fragments, 19th century Letters from Wallace to Livingstone, 1869-1873 Letters from Sir Thomas Maclear, Astronomer Royal at the Cape, mostly addressed to Livingstone, 1866-1875 Gordon MSS.. Topics described include the suppression of the slave trade in the Sudan, the characters and conduct of members of Gordon's staff, the behaviour of missionaries, and Gordon's own views on historical and theological questions. They throw new light on his plans for East and Central Africa and on his relations with King Leopold of the Belgians, whose service he was on the point of entering when he was entrusted with his mission to Khartoum in 1884. Various papers, 1874-1884, mainly letters addressed to Waller Miscellaneous letters and fragments, 19th century Miscellaneous letters, mainly addressed to Waller, [c1859-1893]. The correspondents include Sir John Kirk, U.M.C.A. missionaries and Gordon's sister Diaries, 1849-1867, with notes, sketches and vocabulary of the Manganja language. These include a view of life in the first U.M.C.A. settlement, the personalities of its members, and the difficulties with which they had to contend. Proofs of Livingstone's Last Journals , endorsed " These should be carefully preserved as there are passages in them from Dr. Livingstone's notes and MSS. which were cut out before the book was published, at the suggestion of Mr. John Murray. He was pleased, by the bye, to designate it the most difficult piece of compilation he had ever known " . Waller was entrusted with editing the journals. The passages deleted relate mainly to the misconduct of boys from the Nassick school at Bombay whom Livingstone took with him on expedition. Together with these proofs, Waller kept the originals of the sketches he made for the book. Maps of Africa, miscellaneous sketches, photographs, etc., [19th century] Gordon's map of Palestine, [19th century]

System of arrangement: As described above.


Language: English

Conditions governing access: Bodleian reader's ticket required.

Conditions governing reproduction: No reproduction or publication of personal papers without permission. Contact the library in the first instance.

Finding aids: Listed as nos. 25, 39, 49, 106 and 454 in Manuscript Collections of Africana in Rhodes House Library Oxford, by Louis B. Frewer (Oxford, Bodleian Library, 1968). A handlist is also available in the library reading room.


Related material: Waller correspondence, [1861-1883], diaries and writings, [1858-1890] and photographs, [19th century] are held at the Library of Yale University Divinity School.


Archivist's note: Collection level description created by Paul Davidson, Bodleian Library of Commonwealth and African Studies at Rhodes House.

Date(s) of descriptions: Modified for Mundus 2004


Personal names
Livingstone | David | 1813-1873 | missionary and explorer
Waller | Horace | 1832-1896

Corporate names