Victorian explorer, author & anti-slavery advocate
6th February, 1834
Richard Lander, born in Truro, was destined for adventure: he went to sea for the first time at the age of just 11, travelling to the Caribbean and Africa, before returning to the UK.
Between 1825-28, he was part of an expedition to travel down the Niger, from which he was the sole European survivor. Upon his return to the UK, he published an account of his adventures, which made him famous, and he obtained funds from the British government for another expedition. This second trip to Africa in 1830 was in the company of his brother, John, and was very successful; they aimed to set up trading-posts along the River Niger and to disrupt the slave-trade in the area; again, the brothers returned in triumph and were paid to publish an account of their adventures.
Richard's last trip to Africa, begun in 1833, and sadly ended with his death: there was a clash with locals during which fire was exchanged and Richard died a few days later of his wounds, on the 6th February, on the island of Fernando Po (off the coast of Cameroon). He is buried there, but a monument was raised in Truro to commemorate him and his brother. It is carved by Neville Northey Burnard.