Grace Horsley Darling - Encyclopedia




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GRACE HORSLEY DARLING (1815-1842), British heroine, was born at Bamborough, Northumberland, on the 24th of November 1815. Her father, William Darling, was the keeper of the Longstone (Fame Islands) lighthouse. On the morning of the 7th of September 1838, the "Forfarshire," bound from Hull to Dundee, with sixty-three persons on board, struck on the Fame Islands, forty-three being drowned. The wreck was observed from the lighthouse, and Darling and his daughter determined to try and reach the survivors. They recognized that though they might be able to get to the wreck, they would be unable to return without the assistance of the shipwrecked crew, but they took this risk without hesitation. By a combination of daring, strength and skill, the father and daughter reached the wreck in their coble and brought back four men and a woman to the lighthouse. Darling and two of the rescued men then returned to the wreck and brought off the four remaining survivors. This gallant exploit made Grace Darling and her father famous. The Humane Society at once voted them its gold medal, the treasury made a grant, and a public subscription was organized. Grace Darling, who had always been delicate, died of consumption on the 10th of October 1842.

See Grace Darling, her true story (London, 1880).

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