Digest>Archives> January 2000

Heroine's Medal Fetches $62,000


The medal awarded to Grace Darling, one of the most famous lighthouse heroines of all time, was recently sold at a Sotheby's auction for a whopping $62,410.00, nearly twice the amount it was predicted to fetch.

The medal, which had been in her family's possession when it was awarded to her in 1838, was sold to an anonymous person, following furious bidding at Sotheby's London auction house. The inscribed medal is in good condition, other than some minor edge wear and was still resting in its original case.

The S. S. Forfarshire, with 60 people on board, struck rocks off the coast of Scotland in the early hours of September 7, 1838. Grace, along with her lighthouse keeper father William, rowed through the choppy seas and plucked half of the 18 survivors to safety.

Grace was rewarded for her heroic efforts with the large sum of 50 pounds from Queen Victoria. The silver medal was awarded to her by the legendary Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck.

Although she gained world wide fame for her heroism and gathered much attention, it did not last long. She died four years after the event from tuberculosis.

This story appeared in the January 2000 edition of Lighthouse Digest Magazine. The print edition contains more stories than our internet edition, and each story generally contains more photographs - often many more - in the print edition. For subscription information about the print edition, click here.

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