Memorial: M5085

Memorial at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Republic of Ireland commemorating Captain John McNeill Boyd RN,  d. 1861


St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, Republic of Ireland


'Erected by the citizans of Dublin to the memory of John McNeill Boyd RN, Captain HMS Ajax. Born at Londonderry 1812 and lost off the rocks at Kingstown February 9th 1861, in attempting to save the crew of the Brig Neptune' [on base] ' Safe from the rocks whence swept thy manly form, / Born with a public pomp by just decree, / Heroic sailor! from that fatal sea / A city vows this marble unto thee, / And here in this calm place where din / of earth's great waterfloods shall enter in, / When to our human hearts, two thoughts are given, / one - Christ's self-sacrifice; the other - Heaven, / Here it is meet for grief and love to 'grave, / The Christ-taught bravery that died to save / The life not lost, but found beneath the wave', 'All thy billows and thy waves passed over me, yet will I look again toward Thy Holy Temple.'


Description: Shows Boyd about to throw a rope.
Type: Statue
Position: North Aisle
Materials: Marble
Date Erected: 28/7/1864
Artists: Thomas Farrell
Vessel: HMS Ajax, Neptune


Boyd, John McNeill
Age: 49
Date of Death: 9/2/1861
Cause of Death: Maritime accident
Rank / Occupation: Captain RN
Organisation: Royal Navy


Notes: Commander of the Dublin district of the Irish Coastguard. Boyd and about 60 of the crew of the guardship 'Ajax' were attempting to rescue men from the collier 'Neptune', which had been wrecked in a severe gale. Boyd and five others were swept off their feet by a large wave and drowned. A further memorial commemorating the same incident is on the pier at Dun Laoghaire. There is another in St Columb's Cathedral, Londonderry, Northern Ireland. The verse was written by Dr William Alexander (1824-1911), Archbishop of Armagh.
Bibliography: Homan Potterton 'Irish Church Monuments 1570-1880, (Ulster Architectural Heritage Society); Victor Jackson 'The monuments in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin' (Dublin, 1987); 'Irish Times' 30 July 1864.