Articles, Maritime History

Hutchison’s Gold Medal

Brig Ellen in difficulty off Sandycove

Artifacts of the Maritime museum

 Captain Hutchison’s Gold RNLI medal

Captain William Hutchison (1793-1881), from County Kildare, first harbour master of Kingstown, who also acted as coxswain of the lifeboat.

On 14 August 1829 the brig Iron Duke was driven ashore in an easterly gale at Sandycove.  The Sandycove lifeboat with Hutchison three coastguards and nine others saved all eleven from the wreck.

Hutchison survived the wreck of the Sandycove lifeboat at Sandycove on 28-12-1821. Four of the crew were drowned when it was upset.  They were going to the assistance of the Ellen of Liverpool which was driven ashore and her crew saved.

Site of Lifeboat house in Sandycove

His son probably (Lt W Hutchison junior) won an RNLI silver medal and a Tayleur medal for his part in the rescue work on 9-2-1861 when two coal boats were wrecked at Kingstown pier.  This was the rescue during which Captain Boyd and five of his crew were lost. An obelisk commemorates them on the East pier at Dún Laoghaire near the spot where they were lost.  Some accounts describe this man as the harbourmaster and some attribute both gold and silver medals to one man but RNLI sources make a distinction.

  •  Born 1793 died 1881
  • Ex Lieutenant in RN
  • Inspector of Bulloch Quarries
  • Pilot Master Port  of Dublin
  • First Harbourmaster Kingstown 1817-1874
  • Justice of the Peace
  • Described as captain in 1873


  • H.A Gilligan Dublin Historical Record, 33, 2, March 1980  (Talk given to Old Dublin Society 31-1-1979)
  • John De Courcey Ireland, History of Dun Laoghaire Harbour, De Burca Books 2001.
  • Barry Cox, Lifeboat gallantry. Spink 1998