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Grenfell

kongo, belgian and george

GRENFELL, George, English missionary and African explorer: b. Sancreed, near Pen zance, England, 21 Aug. 1848; d. Basoko, Kongo Free State, 1 July 1906. He was ap prenticed to a Birmingham .hardware firm and there lost an eye. He was converted to Bap tism at the age of 15 and in 1874 went to the Cameroons to work as a missionary under Alfred Saker. He explored the Yabrang and Sanaga rivers during the following two years. In 1877 he moved to Victoria in the Came roons and continued his river exploration. He climbed Mt. Mongo ma Loba in 1878, and in the same year was transferred to the lower Kongo, where he co-operated with the Rev. T. J. Comber. They pushed on to the Makuta country, but the chief Ntolela forbade them to go further. In 1881 Grenfell and Comber es tablished a chain of mission stations up to Stanley Pool on the Kongo. In 1884 he sur veyed the Kongo up to 0 N. 18 E., and in the same year launched a river steam vessel, the Peace, with which he explored the Kwa, Kwango, Kasai, Mubangi, Ruki, Ikelemba, and Rupi. He continued his explorations the fol lowing year, and made a careful study of the Bakuba and Bakete tribes. He published his

observations in the periodicals of the Royal Geographical Society, winning the founder's medal in 1887. In 1891 he was made a chevalier of the Belgian order of Leopold, and became Belgian plenipotentiary to Portugal for the settlement of the Lundo boundary question. For his services, he received the Belgian order of the Lion and the Portuguese Order of Christ. From 1893 to 1900 his headquarters was at Bolobo. By the end of 1902 he had ex plored the Aruwimi river. The next three years were spent at a mission station at Yalemba near the confluence of the Kongo and the Aruwimi. Toward the end of his life he was greatly dissatisfied with the Belgian ad ministration, and made futile protests to King Leopold. Consult Dickens, of the Congo' (London 1910) ; Hawker, (Life of George Grenfell) (ib. 1909) ; Johnston, 'George Grenfell and the Congo' (London 1908).