South Shields Local History Group

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Hutchinson, John (Pilot/Garibaldi)

John Hutchinson was the pilot who guided Garibaldi’s ship Commonwealth into South Shields in 1854.  John commissioned the local maritime artist John Scott to paint a picture of the departure of Garibaldi’s ship Commonwealth leaving the Tyne. 

The Commonwealth leaving the Tyne (John Scott, Fine Art Emporium)

In 1861 John Hutchinson appealed to the editor of the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Joseph Cowen, to see if anyone would deliver the painting to General Garibaldi.  Cowen despatched the painting to Italy in the safe keeping of Captain de Rohan, one of Garibaldi’s oldest and most trusted followers.  Captain de Rohan sent the following account of the reception of the painting by Garibaldi:

Newcastle Daily Chronicle – Friday 19 April 1861

John Hutchinson treasured Garibaldi’s neckerchief and wore it on special occasions such as in 1867 when he at a famous demonstration that was held on the Town Moor when “between forty and fifty thousand” demonstrated in favour of the second Great Reform Act; an attempt to try and get the working class the right to vote.

John posed for this photo with the a model of a 3 masted brig similar to the Commonwealth, a telescope and Garibaldi’s neckerchief around his neck.

(South Tyneside Libraries, STH0008485 )

John Hutchinson died on May 6th 1886 aged 74 and is buried in Westoe Cemetery, section 2.

(Photo Mike Mulhern)

Garibaldi’s painting is still in existence and is now owned by a private American collector.

I have seen no further mention of the letter from Garibaldi, but if you do spot it, this is Garibaldi’s signature:

I wonder where the letter is and Garibaldi’s neckerchief are now?

British Newspaper Archives
Terry Ford

Fine Art Emporium
South Tyneside Libraries
Michael Mulhern

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