Walter Oudney

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Walter Oudney (1790–1824) was a Scottish physician and African explorer.

In 1817 he received his medical doctorate at Edinburgh.[1] A few years afterwards he was appointed by the British government as consul for promotion of trade to the Kingdom of Bornu in sub-Saharan Africa. In early 1822 he departed from Tripoli with explorers Dixon Denham (1786–1828) and Hugh Clapperton (1788–1827), reaching Bornu in February 1823, and thus becoming the first Europeans to accomplish a north-south crossing of the Sahara Desert.

Stricken by illness, Oudney died in January 1824 in the village of Murmur, located near the town of Katagum.[2] On the journey he collected regional plants, and after his death Scottish botanist Robert Brown (1773–1858) named the botanical genus Oudneya from the family Brassicaceae in his honor.

In 1826 the two-volume "Narrative of Travels and Discoveries in Northern and Central Africa in the years 1822, 1823, and 1824" was published, describing the African exploits of Oudney, Denham and Clapperton.

References[edit]

  1. ^  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1895). "Oudney, Walter". Dictionary of National Biography 42. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 354. 
  2. ^ "OUDNEY, Dr, Walter". The annual biography and obituary for the year 1825. vol. 9. London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green. 1825. pp. 446–447. 
  3. ^ "Author Query for 'Oudney'". International Plant Names Index.