David Livingstone Patrick worked in the Public Works Department of the Cape Colony in 1900. He collected various land invertebrates in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and the Transvaal during the first decade of the twentieth century and presented his specimens to the South African Museum, Cape Town. His donations consisted of a small collection of invertebrates made at Umtali (now Mutare, Zimbabwe, near the Mozambique border), including specimens new to the museum (1902); arachnids from the Pungwe (or Pungue) River in Mozambique, which reaches the Indian Ocean at Beira, roughly east of Mutare (1904); and a small collection of spiders from the Transvaal (1906).
In 1916 Patrick was appointed as assistant inspector of machinery in the Department of Mines and Industries. He spent his later years in Natal. On 30 September 1912 he married Mary Emma Roy in Johannesburg.