Lander medicine cabinet

Contributed by Royal Cornwall Museum

Richard Lander's travelling medicine chest, used whilst finding the source of the River Niger, 1830s  c RCM

The brothers used two chests like this and 7 panniers of medicines; they are still celebrated in NigeriaRichard Lander (1804-34) and John Lander (d.1839) were explorers, who took this medicine chest to Africa in the early 1830s. Their journal tells how much they needed the potions, especially Epsom Salts - the one used to cure stomach upsets.

Rather than being typically upper class explorers, the brothers were sons of a Truro innkeeper. They found the course of the River Niger and introduced palm oil to Nigeria, thus setting up a new economy.

Truro's Richard Lander School is named after the older of these brothers. The Lander Monument - an impressive stone column at the top of Truro's Lemon Street - is another reminder of adventurous Cornish lives, cut short by musket balls and tropical illness. However the Landers are less famous here than they are in Nigeria, where every schoolchild learns about them.

Comments are closed for this object

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline


View more objects from people in Cornwall.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.