Luke, Jemima Thompson

(1813-1906)
   She was born at Islington, London, the daughter of Thomas Thompson, who was involved with the Bible Society, the Sunday School Union, and the Foreign Sailors' Society. In 1843 she married Samuel Luke, a congregational minister, and after his death in 1873 she lived at Newport, Isle of Wight. An ardent nonconformist, she was an active opponent of the Education Act of 1902 and was summoned among the Isle of Wight "passive resisters" in September 1904-the oldest such resister in the country. The resisters objected to the act on the grounds that they would be taxed to pay for religious education. By 1906 over 170 Nonconformists had gone to prison for refusing to pay their school taxes. She published her autobiography, Early Years of My Life, in 1900. She is best known for her children's hymn "I Think When I Read that Sweet Story of Old," which first appeared in the Sunday School Teachers' Magazine (1841). In 1853 it appeared, anonymously, in The Leeds Hymn Book, and has since been included in all hymn books of repute. She died on the Isle of Wight.
   Sources: Biography of Jemima Luke, by Lynn Parr (http://www.ensignmessage.com/archives/jemimaluke.htm l). Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Religions: Nonconformists (http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/REnonconformists.htm). The Cyber Hymnal (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/index.htm).

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

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