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Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter

image: Grace rowing

Grace Horsley Darling was born on 24 November 1815 in Bamburgh, Northumberland.

What is Grace Darling famous for?

On 7 September 1838, Grace Darling, daughter of the keeper of Longstone lighthouse on the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland, risked her life to rescue ship wrecked mariners. With her father, she rowed a tiny boat for over a mile through mountainous seas at the height of the storm to rescue nine people marooned on a rock. They were the only survivors of the steamship Forfarshine, which had run aground and broken up.

The courage that Grace and her family showed on that day is now legendary.

Grace and her father managed to get all nine survivors safely back to shore. The newspapers of the time reported on Grace's bravery and a media frenzy ensued. The government was impressed and gave her £50. The public was impressed even more, and raised over a thousand pounds. Grace was besiged with letters, visitors and request for public appearances. However, she did not enjoy being the focus of so much attention, preferring to live quietly at home with her parents.

Sadly, in October 1842 - four years after her brave act, Grace died of tuberculosis.

image: lighthouse

Facts about Grace Darling

24 November 1815: Grace Horsley Darling was born on in in Bamburgh, Northumberland.

She was the seventh child of nine, and the fourth daughter of William and Thomasin Darling.

7th September 1838: 

At 4 a.m. the steamship "Forfarshire", on route from Hull to Dundee with a cargo of cloths and hardware, struck rocks and broke in two.

At 5:45 in the morning Grace spotted the stricken ship from her window.

At 7am Grace and her father spotted survivors on the rocks.

By 9 a.m they had arrived safely back to their lighthouse with all survivors after making two trips.

Further information

www.rnli.org.uk

Teaching resources TES

Also on this day ...

24 November 1859 - Origin of Species by Charles Darwin is published

 

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