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Born illegitimate in Denbigh, Wales in 1841, as John Rowlands, he went to the United States, aged 18, in search of a new life & to avoid what was then a social stigma. In New Orleans he became friendly with a trader named Stanley, whose name he later adopted. He fought on both sides in the American Civil War & was later retained as a correspondent by James Gordon Bennett, founder of the New York Herald. He became an overseas correspondent & found fame when he discovered the missionary David Livingstone who had disappeared in East Africa, having been commissioned to do so by J.G.Bennett Junior who had succeeded his father on the latter's retirement; however his actions in Africa later attracted great controversy. In 1890, the date of the spoons, Stanley returned successfully with Emin Pasha, governor of Equatoria, a province in southern Sudan, after mounting a relief expedition to "rescue" him from the interior, having discovered the Ruwenzori mountain range & Lake Edward. He later became MP for Lambeth North (1895-1900) & was made Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in 1899 in recognition of his services to the British Empire. He died in 1904.