Reverend Holloway Helmore

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Rev. Holloway Helmore

Birthplace: Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom
Death: April 21, 1860 (44)
Linyanti, Chobe, North West, Botswana (Yellow fever)
Immediate Family:

Son of Thomas Helmore and Olive Helmore
Husband of Anne Helmore
Father of Anne Sophia Palk; Emma Elizabeth Henry; Emily Henry and Olive Helmore
Brother of Emily Sophia Stuart

Occupation: Minister/missionary
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Reverend Holloway Helmore

In 1881 Emily and Emma Elizabeth (although recorded as Elizabeth E) were with their sister Olive who was running a Ladies School at Causeway, in Horsham, Sussex. In 1891 Census Olive was still running a Ladies School but Emily and Emma were not there. They would have returned to Africa where Emma married John Henry but died in 1889. It would seem that John Henry then married Emily and the family went to Southern Rhodesia in 1895.

See a Helmore Family Tree for this family at this website. Good guideline - needs resources.

Holloway Helmore


Biographical history:

  • Born at Kidderminster, England, 1815;
  • Studied at Homerton College;
  • Appointed London Missionary Society (LMS) missionary to Africa;
  • Ordained at Leamington, 1838;
  • Married Anne Garden;
  • Sailed to South Africa, 1839;
  • Arrived at Cape Town and proceeded to Griqua Town;
  • Moved to Lekatlong and took charge of that station, 1840; moved to Borigelong, between Lekatlong and Taung, connected with the Kuruman mission, 1842;
  • Returned to work in Lekatlong, 1843;
  • Returned to England, his health having failed, 1856;
  • Appointed to open a mission among the Makololo, north of the Zambesi, 1858;
  • Arrived at Cape Town with his wife and four children and proceeded to Lekatlong;
  • Left Kuruman, 1859;
  • Arranged to travel with Roger Price and family to meet David Livingstone at Linyanti; after a difficult journey, arrived at Linyanti, where he, his wife and two children died of fever, 1860;
  • The mission to the Makololo was abandoned.

Holloway married Anne GARDEN on 21 Jan 1839 in Islington. Anne was born in 1816. She died in 1860. She was buried on 12 Mar 1860 in Linyanti, Africa.

They had the following children:

  • i. Olive Helmore was born in 1842 in Linyanti, Africa.
  • ii. Anne Sophia Helmore was born in 1844. She died in 1936.
  • iii. Emily Helmore was born in 1846 in Linyanti, Africa.
  • iv. Emma E Helmore was born in 1850 in Linyanti, Africa.
  • v. William Holloway Helmore was born in 1853 in Linyanti, Africa. He died in 1940. He was buried in 1940.
  • vi. Selina Helmore was born in 1854 in Linyanti, Africa. She died in 1860 in Linyanti, Africa. She was buried on 11 Mar 1860 in Linyanti, Africa.
  • vii. Henry Helmore was born in 1857 in Linyanti, Africa. He died in 1860 in Linyanti, Africa. He was buried on 7 Mar 1860 in Linyanti, Africa.

From the accounts read (see below) it would seem that Holloway and his wife Ann went to Africa with the 4 youngest children - 2 of which died with their parents at Linyanti. The 2 orphaned children returned to SA with Roger Price. These children were probably Emily and Emma Margaret.

Excellent article on the The Makololo and the Missionaries - well researched and informative.

Another article gives similar information The Sangwali Museum

"The one room (one man) museum has informative exhibits on the explorations through the area by David Livingstone, the plight of the Helmore missionaries that settled near Sangwali, the history of the traditional people in the area, the Makololo, and information on basketry . The museum itself is not easy to find and you will need to find the curator to get in. The curator, Linus Makwato, is a treasure himself with his knowledge of local history, enthusiasm for his endeavors and generosity to answer questions and share it all".

This is an interesting web site about that area.

The following is extracted from those pages.

"When David Livingstone departed from Linyanti in September 1855 to follow the Zambezi to the east coast, he promised Chief Sekeletu of the Makololo that he would return with his wife to set up a missionary station amongst them. However, he changed his plans and the London Missionary Society asked Holloway Helmore to go instead. Helmore had already been a missionary in southern Africa for 17 years.

In July 1859 Holloway Helmore with his wife Anne, together with a second missionary Roger Price and his wife Isabella, set off from Kuruman in the Cape, for the long journey of approximately 6,000 km through the Kalahari to Linyanti. They traveled in four ox wagons. The party of 21 people included the four youngest Helmore children, a Tlhaping teacher, Thabi and some drivers and herdsmen.

They had a terrible journey. It was the dry season and most of the water holes had already dried up. They suffered severely from thirst and the wagons kept breaking down in the deep, soft sand. The oxen kept wandering away in search of water. At a water hole in Letlkane, Isabella Price gave birth to a baby girl. At one stage, on the Mababe Plain, for four nights in a row, Helmore walked 30 km to get water for the stranded party.

Seven months later, on 14 February 1860, they arrived at Linyanti, expecting to meet Livingstone. He had planned to make his way towards Linyanti from the east coast, along the Zambezi River. However, he had not yet arrived, nor had he sent word that he had been delayed. Sekeletu was not happy to accept Helmore and Price as substitute missionaries. He was still waiting for Livingstone and his wife to come.

Sekeletu insisted that the party remain there, in the unhealthy swamps, until Livingstone arrived. They had made their camp near Sekeletu’s capital, which he also called Linyanti. This was where Malengalenga is now, about 20 km east of Sangwali.

It was not long before all the people in the party fell ill, and the first death occurred in 2 March 1860. Within seven weeks, eight people in the missionary party had died at Linyanti and were buried there, including Holloway and Anne Helmore. After Helmore’s death, Roger and Isabella Price decided to abandon the mission and return to the Cape. Soon afterwards, on the Mababe Plain, Isabella Price also died. The survivors, Roger Price, the two orphaned Helmore children and eight helpers eventually arrived back at Kuruman in February, 1861.

It is still uncertain as to what caused their deaths. The members of the party had been plagued by mosquitoes on their journey and most had been ill with fever. It was not until forty years after these events that scientists discovered that malaria was carried by mosquitoes.

However, there are strong grounds for suspecting that Sekeletu had tried to poison them. He did not welcome this missionary party from the south. He felt that Livingstone and his wife Mary would be a protection against his enemy the formidable Mzilikazi, who with his Ndebele people had settled nearby. Mary Livingstone’s father was the famous missionary Robert Moffat, who was greatly admired and respected by Mzilikazi.

To this day the local people say that Sekeletu put poison from the toxic Euphorbia ingens into the beer that he gave to the party and that he poisoned the oxen he gave them in the same way. Price also insisted that they had been poisoned. Perhaps we will never know the true cause of death, but most of those who died appear to have suffered from fever and poisoning".

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Reverend Holloway Helmore's Timeline

December 14, 1815
Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom
Inyanti, South Africa
January 12, 1844
Horsham, Sussex, England (United Kingdom)
April 21, 1860
Age 44
Linyanti, Chobe, North West, Botswana