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John Hanning Speke


  Male      British      Soldier

  Born : May 04, 1827  -
  Died : Sep 15, 1864


About Author

John Hanning Speke (4 May 1827 – 15 September 1864) was an officer in the British Indian Army who made three exploratory expeditions to Africa and who is most associated with the search for the source of the Nile and was in fact the first European that reached Lake Victoria and as such is the "discoverer of the source of the Nile". He is also known for propounding the Hamitic hypothesis in 1863. In this hypothesis, he supposed that the Tutsi ethnic group were descendants of the biblical figure, Ham, and had lighter skin and more “European” features than the Bantu-featured Hutu over whom they ruled.

Speke was born on 4 May 1827 at Orleigh Court, Buckland Brewer near Bideford, North Devon. In 1844 he was commissioned into the British Army and posted to India, where he served under Sir Colin Campbell during the First Anglo-Sikh War. He spent his leave exploring the Himalayan Mountains and Mount Everest and once crossed into Tibet...


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