Piece of tree under which David Livingstone's heart was buried Zambia

Piece of tree near which Livingstone's heart was buried
Piece of tree near which Livingstone's heart was buried

Custodian: University of Glasgow Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

Reference: GLAHM 112992

Missionary David Livingstone died near Chitambo, now in Zambia, around 1 May 1873. His body was embalmed by other members of the expedition team and his heart buried near a tree on which they carved a simple memorial. His body was then carried to the coast, a journey of nine months, before being returned by ship to the UK. Livingstone was buried in Westminster Abbey on 18 April 1874.

The type of tree has not be conclusively identified. However, it apparently died and was sawn into pieces around 1900. The piece with the memorial inscription was brought to the UK and display at the Royal Geographical Society in London. This piece of tree was acquired around the same time by Livingstone's grandson, Dr Hubert F. Wilson. He presented it to Anderson's College, where his grandfather had studied. There it was displayed accompanied by a brass plaque. Anderson's College became part of the University of Glasgow in 1947.

Dimensions: irregular diameter, approx. 400mm