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Grace Darling – A Victorian Heroine

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Stephen Liddell

Not many people know about Grace Darling today but 175 years ago her fame hadn’t just spread around the land but around the world and with good reason.

Grace Darling Portrait of Grace Darling by Thomas Musgrave Joy

Grace was the daughter of William and Thomasin Darling, just one of nine children born into the family in the early 19th century.  Aged just a few weeks old, they left their tiny cottage in the Northumbrian village of Bamburgh to the remote and desolate Brownsman Island and then the nearby Longstone island, one of the Farne Islands off the east coast of England near the Scottish border.

The Farne Islands lie off the  coast of Northumberland in the North Sea. The Farne Islands lie off the coast of Northumberland in the North Sea. Map is Crown Copyright

Her father had been running a lighthouse and was paid £70 plus a £10 bonus each year but for that the family had to spend their time in a lonely…

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