Waller, Horace (DNB00)

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WALLER, HORACE (1833–1896), writer on Africa, was born in London in 1833, and educated under Dr. Wadham at Brook Green. He was for some time in business in London, acquiring habits which were of much use to him in after life. In connection with the universities mission to Central Africa he went out in 1861 to the regions recently opened up by David Livingstone [q. v.] and Sir John Kirk. For a period he worked with Charles Frederick Mackenzie [q. v.], bishop of Central Africa, and was associated with Livingstone in the Zambesi and Shiré districts. Returning to England after the death of Mackenzie in 1862, he was in 1867 ordained by the bishop of Rochester to the curacy of St. John, Chatham; in 1870 he removed to the vicarage of Leytonstone, Essex, and in 1874 to the rectory of Twywell, near Thrapston, Northamptonshire, which he resigned in 1895. Opposition to the slave trade was one of the chief objects of his life. In 1867 he attended the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society's conference in Paris, and in 1870 he became a member of the committee of the Anti-Slavery Society. When in 1871 the House of Commons appointed a committee to investigate the East African slave trade, it was owing to the influence of Edmund Murge and Waller that the committee decided to recommend Sir John Kirk for the appointment of permanent political agent at Zanzibar. Ultimately a treaty between the sultan of Zanzibar and Great Britain declared the slave trade by sea to be illegal. He lived on terms of close intimacy with General Gordon, and Gordon was a frequent visitor at the rectory of Twywell.

Waller was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1864, died at East Liss, Hampshire, on 22 Feb. 1896, and was buried at Milland church on 26 Feb.

After Stanley succeeded in discovering Livingstone, Livingstone's journals were entrusted to Waller for publication. They were issued in two large volumes in 1874, entitled ‘The Last Journals of David Livingstone in Central Africa, from 1865 until his death.’ Waller wrote: 1. ‘On some African Entanglements of Great Britain,’ 1888. 2. ‘Nyassaland: Great Britain's Case against Portugal,’ 1890. 3. ‘Ivory, Apes, and Peacocks: an African Contemplation,’ 1891. 4. ‘Heligoland for Zanzibar, or one Island full of Free Men to two full of Slaves,’ 1893. 5. ‘Health Hints for Central Africa,’ 1893, five editions. 6. ‘Slaving and Slavery in our British Protectorates, Nyssaland and Zanzibar,’ 1894. 7. ‘The Case of our Zanzibar Slaves: why not liberate them?’ 1896.

[Guardian, 26 Feb. 1896 p. 317, 4 March p. 352; Times, 26 Feb. 1896; Black and White, 7 March 1896, p. 292, with portrait; Geographical Journal, May 1896, pp. 558–9.]

G. C. B.