Robert Moffat (1795-1883), was brought up near Edinburgh by devout Christian parents, who filled his heart and mind with accounts of the exploits of missionaries in other countries. After being apprenticed as a gardener and a brief experience as a sailor, Robert Moffat determined to join the London Missionary Society. However, his first application was rejected. Undaunted, the Scot tried again the next year and was accepted.
In October 1816, at Surrey Chapel in London, he and 8 others were set apart for the work of the LMS. One of the others was John Williams, who was destined to lose his life at the hands of cannibals in the South Seas. Robert Moffat set sail for Africa, arriving in Cape Town in January 1817.