Discovered Lake Tanganyika with
Burton, and Lake Victoria independently. Was, with Grant,
the first European to cross equatorial africa. Died 1864.
John Hanning Speke was a man of thirty-six, when his Nile Journal
appeared. He had entered the army in 1844, and completed ten
years of service in India, serving through the Punjab Campaign.
Already he had conceived the idea of exploring Africa, before his
ten years were up, and on their conclusion he was appointed a
member of the expedition preparing to start under Sir Richard
(then Lieutenant Burton) for the Somali country. He was wounded
by the Somalis, and returned to England on sick leave; the
Crimean War then breaking out, be served through it, and later,
December 1856, joined another expedition under Burton. Then it
was that the possibility of the source of the Nile being traced
to one of the inland lakes seems to have struck him.
Burton's illness prevented him accompanying Speke on the latter's
visit to the lake now known as Victoria Nyanza. During this
expedition Speke reached the most southerly point of the lake,
and gave it its present name. Speke arrived back in England in
the spring of 1859, Burton being left behind on account of his
illness. The relations between the two had become strained, and
this was accentuated by Speke's hast to publish the account of