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BAIKIE, William Balfour, MDRN, FRGS, FBS, FSA(Scot) (African Explorer)

Born in Kirkwall, Orkney, (1824-1864), he was a Scottish explorer, naturalist and philologist. He founded from scratch the town of Lokoja which eventually became a capital of northern Nigeria. Today, in the Igbo language the name for white-man is “beke” and Britain is called “ala Beke”, (Baikie’s home) both corruptions of his name.

MACKAY, Alexander Murdoch (1849-1890) Explorer & Missionary

Mr Mackay of Uganda, as he became known, was born in Rhynie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. He taught Ugandans carpentry, metal work and road making, and translated the bible into Swahili. He used his engineering skills to improve the country’s infrastructure and is still highly regarded in 21st century Uganda.

PARK, Mungo. 1771 Selkirkshire – 1806 Nigeria

Born at Foulshiels Farm, near Selkirk, Scotland. Explored central Africa and found the long sought Niger river.

PATERSON, William FRS (1755-1810)

Born Montrose, Scotland. He was a soldier, explorer, administrator and botanist who collected plants in South Africa and Australia. He was appointed Lieutenant Governor General of Tasmania, and later appointed Governor of New South Wales.

SLESSOR, Mary (1848-1915) Missionary

Born Aberdeenshire, Scotland. She spent much of her life in the Calabar region of Nigeria. She fought against the sacrifice of children, particularly twins, who were considered to be an evil curse and were usually left in the forest to be eaten by wild animals. She confronted total lack of education for women and the common practice of human sacrifice when a village elder died, on the assumption that he would need retainers to accompany him on his journey. She was a great civilising influence and was the driving force behind establishment of the Hope Waddell Institute in Calabar.


Scottish Achievement, Influence & Heritage is a work in progress