Mary Livingstone (née Moffat)
- For the lady-in waiting to Mary, Queen of Scots see Mary Livingston
Mary Livingstone (1821-1862), born Mary Moffat, was the wife of the Scottish Congregationalist missionary David Livingstone. Her father, Robert Moffat, was also a Scottish Congregationalist missionary who worked among the Bechuana people at Kuruman.
Mary Moffat was the first of ten children born to Robert Moffat, a Scottish missionary and his wife Mary (née Smith 1795–1870). Mary was born in Griquatown, about 93 miles north of Kimberley. From 1839 to 1843 she lived in Britain with her parents. When the family returned to South Africa, she taught in the school at Kuruman where she met David Livingstone.
Mary married Livingstone in January 1845 although her mother disapproved, and they lived initially in Kolobeng, North West Province. She accompanied Livingstone on his two journeys across the Kalahari desert in 1849 and 1850. Two of her six children were born during these Ox-wagon treks and were delivered by her husband.
Mary did not go on Livingstone's first expedition to the Zambezi, 1853-1856, because she lived in Britain for four years for the sake of the children's education. Livingstone joined her in Britain from 1856-1858.
In 1858 she returned to Africa to accompany Livingstone on the official 'Zambezi Expedition' but became pregnant again and left the expedition to go to her parents' home in Kuruman for the birth of the new child.
She subsequently spent another, brief, period in Scotland where it was rumoured that she had become an alcoholic and that her friendship with Dr. James Stewart was more than platonic.
Returning to Africa she met Livingstone at the mouth of the Zambezi, but fell ill in the camp at Shupanga and died there on 27 April 1862.
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