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RECEPTION OF LIVINGSTONE'S REMAINS at Southampton  15th April 1874

After two or three days of anxious waiting, the body of the late Dr. Livingstone was landed at Southampton from the ‘Malwa’ on April 15, and two hours afterwards was taken in public procession to the South-Western Railway Station, from whence it was sent to London by special train. Permission was granted  for the reception committee to remove the body at once, and then those who knew what was about to happen clustered round the hold, looking into the depths of which they witnessed a spectacle which struck everybody by its sad solemnity. On the deck of the mail-room stood the coffin -large, black, but not heavy, as the spectators presently saw. At the head of the coffin two Lascars had mounted guard, two others stood at the foot, and between each of these two pair of ebony-visaged sentries was a Union Jack held by both men. This part of the ship is not too light, even on an April morning, so an English sailor bearing a lantern was also posted in the hold. The rays of this lantern fell on the coffin, covered at this time with the parti-coloured flag of the Peninsular and Oriental Company, and so bid from the gaze of all the large black case containing the remains of the traveller and philanthropist. Outside the mail-room this striking scene was not visible; only a very few were accorded the melancholy privilege or witnessing it. In a brief space the hold was clear, and then the coffin, still draped with the company's colours, was hoisted up. The mayor of Southampton town council, a reception committee, the clergy, and others, met at the Audit-house, in the High-street, at eleven o'clock, and walked to the pier. The maces carried by the corporation officers were craped, and the officials wore their robes. At the pier the coffin was taken from the tug Queen and deposited in the hearse drawn by four horses waiting to receive it, and then the procession left for the railway station.  A band playing the Dead March in "Saul" led the van; the mayor (Mr. Edwin Jones), alderman, and the council, in their robes, preceded the hearse, behind which walked the two sons of Dr. Livingstone, one on each side of the Rev. Dr Moffatt, father-in-law of the deceased. Following these three mourners-in-chief was another notable group, Mr. H.M. Stanley, the Rev. W. S. Price, and Jacob Wainwright then came the clergy of the various denominations, of whom  the Rev. A. Bradley, rector of All Saints, the Rev. C. I E. Steward, rector of St. Peter's, and the Rev. A.  Bathe, curate of St. Michael's, were in their robes. The Jewish Church was represented by its “Reader," and the Roman Catholic Church by its local priest, the Rev. Father Mount. Besides the official personages referred to and their subordinates there were only three uniforms visible and they were worn by the German and American consuls and Colonel Lacy, staff officer of pensioners in the district. The remainder of the procession was composed of  fellows of the Royal Geographical Society, the members of the medical and other professions, the Pier and Harbour Commissioners (who followed the corporation), the members of the local and London Press, the poor-law guardians; the council of the Hartley Institution, members of the school board, the committees of the local literary' societies and Philosophical society, other representatives of the public, the 41st executive council elect of the Ancient Order of Foresters, Sunday-school teachers, and several seamen of the Peninsular and Oriental Company's service carrying flags. The pall- bearers at the pier were the two bailiffs (Mr. S. S. Pearce and Mr. Purkis), Mr. Phippard, and Mr. G. Perkins. Sir Frederick Perkins, M.P., and Captain Black (of the Peninsular and Oriental Company), were also present. From the pier to the railway station the streets were not so much lined as thronged. by a crowd of spectators, whose behaviour was so thoroughly and uniformly good as to call for special mention. A mere handful of police kept the thoroughfares, but their task was almost a sinecure. Unlike a London mob, these good Hampshire folk contented themselves with standing still while the procession passed, or else accompanied it on either flank in a decent and orderly, not to say a reverent, manner. While the procession was on its way to the station the bells of St. Michael's and Holyrood churches rang muted peals, and the guns composing the platform battery were fired at minute intervals by the 1st Hants Artillery Volunteers. At the station the hearse was transferred to a truck, and taken to London by the special train in which the mourners rode up to town. Southampton has seen many sights since it received its charter from King Edward in 962; but probably on no occasion has there been such a general mustering of the entire population as was to be seen out of doors when the whole town was in mourning for the celebrated traveller, whose last and most appropriate resting place is to be Westminster Abbey. The special train left Southampton at 12.45 and reached Waterloo Station, London, at 3 p.m., a large number of spectators witnessing its arrival. Here the hearse was joined by three mourning coaches and two private carriages, and proceeded to the Royal Geographical Society's building. It was not generally known that the hearse contained the body of Dr. Livingstone, and it consequently attracted comparatively little attention. Those who were aware of the fact greeted the little procession reverently, uncovering as it passed through the streets. We have authority to state that soon after the arrival of the remains of Dr. Livingstone at the rooms of the Royal Geographical Society an examination was made by Sir William Fergusson, in the presence of Dr. Kirk, Dr. Loudon, of Hamilton, N.B., a former friend and, professional attendant, .the Rev. Dr Moffat), the Rev. Horace Waller, and Mr. W. F.Webb of Newstead Abbey. The remains were much decomposed, but the condition of the left fore arm in which there bad been an un-unified fracture, the result of a bite from a lion thirty years earlier was so clear that the identification of the body was placed beyond doubt. At the special desire of the family no others than those above mentioned, with the exception of two assistants, were permitted to be present. The funeral of Dr. Livingstone will take place in Westminster Abbey, at 1 p.m. on April l8.

[From the London Illustrated News]



Outdoor visit to Minstead Church image courtesy Will Temple Outdoor visit on a Guy Arab open top busTug tender Calshot in preservation