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Undated photograph of Catherine Winkworth

Catherine Winkworth (September 13, 1827 - July 1, 1878) was an English translator. She is best known for bringing the German chorale tradition to many English speakers with her translations of many hymns.



Catherine Winkworth was born in London at 20 Ely Place, Holborn. She was the fourth daughter of Henry Winkworth, a silk merchant. Winkworth lived most of her life in Manchester. She studied also under the Unitarian minister, Rev. William Gaskell and with the English philosopher Dr. James Martineau.

She spent a year in Dresden, during which time she took an interest in German hymnody. Around 1854, she published her book Lyra Germanica, a collection of German hymns which she had chosen and translated into English. A further collection followed in 1858. During 1863, she published The Chorale Book for England and in 1869 she followed this with Christian Singers of Germany. Four examples of translations by her hand are published in The Church Hymn book 1872 (N. 344, 431, 664 and 807).[1]

In addition to translating hymns, Miss Winkworth was deeply involved in promoting women's rights, and was the secretary of the Clifton Association for Higher Education for Women, a supporter of the Clifton High School for Girls, and a member of the Cheltenham Ladies' College. She was likewise governor of the Red Maids' Schoolin Westbury-on-Trym in the city of Bristol, England .[2]

She died suddenly of heart disease near Geneva on 1 July 1878 and was buried in Monnetier, near Savoy. A monument to her memory was erected in Bristol Cathedral. She is commemorated as a hymnwriter with John Mason Neale on the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on July 1.[3]


  1. ^ Catherine Winkworth (Center for Church Music)
  2. ^ Catherine and Susanna Winkworth (Eclectic Ethereal Encyclopedia)
  3. ^ Catherine Winkworth, Hymnwriter and Educator (Biographical Sketches of Memorable Christians of the Past)

Further reading

  • The Church Hymn Book ( ed. Edwin F. Hatfield. New York and Chicago: 1872)

External links



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