Havergal, William Henry and Frances Ridley

(1793-1879)
   • William Henry, the father, 1793-1870
   He was born at Chipping Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, and educated at Merchant Taylors School, London, and St. Edmund's Hall, Oxford. He was ordained a deacon in 1816 and priest in 1817 and was rector of three different churches in the Midlands. In 1844 he began to write hymns, sacred songs and carols for the periodical Our Own Fireside. He also wrote, harmonized and arranged vocal music. The proceeds from his setting of Reginald Heber's "From Greenland's Icy Mountains" he donated to the Church Missionary Society. He was buried at Astley, Worcestershire. In addition to his music compositions, he wrote sermons and doctrinal books. He wrote over 20 hymns, and although they have passed out of modern hymnbooks, some the titles are: "Blessed Jesus, Lord and Brother," "Forever and Forever, Lord," "In Doubt and Dread Dismay," "Our Faithful God Hath Sent Us," "To Praise Our Shepherd's Care."
   • Frances Ridley, the daughter, 1836-1879
   She was born at her father's rectory at Astley, Worcestershire, and from an early age showed superior intellectual ability. Owing to a delicate constitution, she was discouraged from pursing intellectual studies. She began writing poetry from the age of seven, and her poems were soon being published in Good Words and other religious periodicals. In 1878, with both parents dead, she moved from Leamington to South Wales, near the Mumbles, where she died. She wrote over seventy hymns, many of which are used in current hymnbooks. Her Autobiography Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal, by her Sister, M.V.G. Havergal was published in 1880. Some of her publications of hymns and poems: The Ministry of Song 1870 (5th edition, 1874). Under the Surface, 1874. Loyal Responses, 1878. Life Chords, 1880. Life Echoes, 1883. Poetical Works, 1884. Coming to the King, 1886. Some of her poems/hymns: "A Happy Christmas," "A New Year Wish," "A Teacher," "At the Portal, God Will Take Care of You," "Golden Harps Are Sounding," "I Am Trusting Thee, Lord Jesus," "I Gave My Life for Thee," "Life-Mosaic," "Master, Speak! Thy Servant Heareth," "Take My Life and Let It Be," "The One Reality," "The Thoughts of God," "Who Is on the Lord's Side?"
   Sources: A Sacrifice of Praise: An Anthology of Christian Poetry in English from Caedmon to the Mid-Twentieth Century. James H. Trott, ed. Cumberland House Publishing, 1999. A Treasury of Poems for Worship and Devotion. Charles L. Wallis, ed. Harper, 1959. Biography of William Henry Havergal: AIM25: Royal College of Music (http://www.aim25.ac.uk/cgi-bin/frames/fulldesc?inst_id=25andcoll_id=5684). Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. English Poetry: Author Search (http://www.lib.utexas.edu:8080/search/epoetry/author.html). The Best Loved Religious Poems. James Gilchrist Lawson, ed. Fleming H. Revell, 1933. The Columbia Granger's Index to Poetry. 11th ed. The Columbia Granger's World of Poetry, Columbia University Press, 2005 (http://www.columbiagrangers.org). The Cyber Hymnal (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/index.htm).

British and Irish poets. A biographical dictionary. . 2015.

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