Dr. David Livingstone 1813 - 1873
Born in Blantyre, Livingston became an explorer and missionary. He discovered the Victoria Falls and led expeditions up the Zambezi and Nile. It was on the Nile that he met the journalist Henry Stanley who spoke the often quoted line ‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume’. There is a visitor centre in Blantyre about the life of Livingstone.
Alexander Selkirk 1676 - 1721
Alexander Selkirk was the real Robinson Crusoe and the inspiration for Daniel Defoe's book by the same name. Selkirk was born in Largo in Fife. He was a seaman and took part in several privateering expeditions - effectively legalised piracy in the King’s enemies. One his last trip, he had a dispute with the incompetent captain and fearing the ship would sink demanded to be put ashore. He judged correctly and the ship later sank off the coast of Peru. Selkirk was castaway on an uninhabited island, which is known today as Robinson Crusoe Island, surviving only his wits for four years and four days until his rescue.
Arthur Anderson 1792 - 1868
He began his sailing career in the Navy. He mainly served as a captain's clerk but left aged 23 and headed for London in the hope of gainful employment. He met Brodie McGhie Wilcox who was about to embark on a shipping enterprise to Spain and Portugal. Realising Anderson's skills, Brodie McGhie Wilcox offered him the clerks position, seven years later he made him partner. The business went from strength to strength and began to carry mail. The company soon became the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company - known today as P&O Ferries. During this time Anderson was still involved in Shetland affairs and began to suggest a trip from Shetland to the Faroes and Iceland - the first ever cruise.
Sir Alexander MacKenzie 1764 - 1820
Alexander MacKenzie was born in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. At 10 years old he emigrated with his family to the ‘New World’. They became caught up in the American Revolution but managed to escape to Montreal. The main industry was then the fur trade and MacKenzie saw this as an opportunity to travel and explore. He became the first European to reach the Pacific Ocean overland, a distance of some 5000 miles. While on this expedition he discovered and charted the longest river in Canada - the MacKenzie River. His expeditions were legendary and when he wrote the book Voyages charting his epic journeys across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans there was such high demand publishers could not keep up.