Robert Moffat

Robert Moffat

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Robert Moffat

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Robert Moffat (21 December 1795 – 9 August 1883) was a Scottish Congregationalist missionary to Africa, and father in law of David Livingstone.

Moffat was born of humble parentage in Ormiston, East Lothian. To find employment, he moved south to Cheshire in England as a gardener. In 1814, whilst employed at West Hall High Legh in Cheshire he experienced difficulties withhis employer due to his Methodist sympathies. For a short period, after having applied successfully to the London Missionary Society (LMS) to become an overseas missionary, he took an interim post as a farmer, at Plantation Farm in Dukinfield (where he first met his future wife). In September 1816, he was formally commissioned at Surrey Chapel in London as a missionary of LMS (on the same day as John Williams), and was sent out to South Africa. His fiance Mary Smith (1795–1870) was able to join him three years later, after he returned to Cape Town from Namaqualand (where he converted the chief Afrikaner to Christianity) and she actively assisted further missionary work.

In 1820 Moffat and his wife left the Cape and proceeded to Griquatown, where their daughter Mary Moffat (who was later to marry David Livingstone) was born. The family later settled at Kuruman, to the west of the Vaal River, among the Bechuana tribes. Here they lived and worked passionately for the missionary cause, until in 1870 they returned to Britain. During this period, Robert Moffat made frequent journeys into the...
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