Pennefather, William

(1816-1873) and Catherine (1818-1893)
   Born in Dublin, the son of a judge, William was educated privately, then at Trinity College, Dublin, from where he graduated in 1840. Ordained in 1842, he served the community of Mellifont, near Drogheda during the famine of 1845. He married Catherine, daughter of rear-admiral Hon. James William King in 1847, and the following year the couple moved to England. In 1864 he took the living of St. Jude's, Mildmay Park, Islington. The conference hall at Mildmay became the center of many permanent organizations for home and foreign mission work. Pennefather was one of the signatories of a treaty of 1871 between Queen Victoria and the Chippewa and Swampy Cree tribes of Indians to open up areas of land for settlements. The treaty stated that no alcohol would be allowed on the reserves, that the British government would pay a certain sum of money to each family, and that a school would be built on each reserve. It was through the social care of this couple that the Mildmay mission was formed out of the London cholera epidemic of 1866. Then in 1892 the Mildmay Mission Hospital was founded, which in 2005 is dedicated to improving the lives of men, women and children challenged by HIV and AIDS. William was a preacher known all over England and was equally involved in both evangelistic and pastoral work. When he died, Catherine carried on the work of the Mildmay Mission. Both William and Catherine were hymn-writers. William published Hymns, Original and Selected in 1875-which contained twenty-five of his compositions - and Original Hymns and Thoughts in Verse, also in 1875. Catherine published Songs of the Pilgrim Land (1886) and Homeward Journey, a selection of poems by herself and others (1888). Some of their hymn/poems: "God of Glorious Majesty," "Haste Thy Coming Kingdom," "Help Us, O Lord, to Praise," "Holy, Holy Father," "How Shall We Praise Thy Name," "I'm Journeying Through a Desert World," "Jesus, in Thy Blest Name," "Jesus, Stand Among Us," "Lord, with One Accord," "Not Now, My Child," "Praise God, Ye Seraphs Bright," "Savior! We Adore Thee," "Thousands and Thousands Stand," "Yon Shining Shore is Nearer."
   Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Electronic Edition 1.1. Oxford University Press, 1997. Manitoba and Country Adjacent with Adhesions. Queen's Printer and Controller of Stationery Ottawa, 1957 (http://collections.ic.gc.ca/aboriginaldocs/treaty/html/t-treaty1.htm) The Cyber Hymnal (http://www.cyberhymnal.org/index.htm). The History of Mildmay (http://www.mildmay.org.uk/ChristianEthos.html). Treaties 1 and 2, Between Her Majesty the Queen and the Chippewa and Cree Indians of Manitoba and Country Adjacent with Adhesions, 1871 (http://collections.ic.gc.ca/aboriginaldocs/treaty/html/t-treaty1.htm).

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

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