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Frances Ridley Havergal

Frances Ridley Havergal (December 14, 1836 – June 3, 1879) was an English religious poet and hymn writer. Thy Life for Me is one of her best known hymns. She also wrote hymn melodies, religious tracts, and works for children.



She was born into an Anglican family, at Astley in Worcestershire. Her father, William Henry Havergal (1793–1870), was a clergyman, writer, composer, and hymnwriter. Her brother, Henry East Havergal, was a priest in the Church of England and an organist.

In 1852/3 she studied in the Louisenschule, Düsseldorf, and at Oberkassel. Otherwise she led a quiet life, not enjoying consistent good health; she travelled, in particular to Switzerland. She supported the Church Missionary Society.

She died of peritonitis at Caswell Bay on the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Her sisters saw much of her work published posthumously. Havergal College, a private girls' school in Toronto, is named after her. The composer Havergal Brian adopted the name as a tribute to the Havergal family.


  • Ministry of Song (1870)
  • Under the Surface (1874)
  • The four happy days (1874)
  • Royal Commandments (1878)
  • Loyal Responses (1878)
  • Kept for the Master's Use (1879) memoirs
  • Life Chords (1880)
  • Royal Bounty (1880)
  • Little Pillows, or Goodnight Thoughts for the Little Ones (1880)
  • Morning bells, or, Waking thoughts for the little ones (1880)
  • Swiss Letters and Alpine Poems (1881) edited by J. M. Crane
  • Under His Shadow: the Last Poems of Frances Ridley Havergal (1881)
  • The Royal Invitation (1882)
  • Life Echoes (1883)
  • Poetical Works (1884) edited by M. V. G. Havergal and Frances Anna Shaw
  • Coming to the King (1886)


  • Frances Ridley Havergal Janet Grierson ,The Havergal Society,Worcester 1979 ISBN 0-9506544-0 X
  • Frances Ridley Havergal's Last Week (1879) Maria Vernon Graham Havergal
  • Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal, by her Sister (1880) M. V. G. Havergal, including an autobiography
  • Florence Nightingale, Frances Ridley Havergal, Catherine Marsh, Mrs Ranyard (1885) Lizzie Alldridge
  • Frances Ridley Havergal: a full sketch of her life, (1904) Edward Davies
  • Women who have worked and won : the life-story of Mrs. Spurgeon, Mrs. Booth-Tucker, F.R. Havergal, and Pandita Ramabai (1904) Jennie Chappell
  • In Trouble and in Joy: Four Women Who Lived for God, (2004) Sharon James, ISBN 0852345844. Biographies of Margaret Baxter (1639–1681), Sarah Edwards (1710–1758), Anne Steele (1717–1778) and Frances Ridley Havergal

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Oh, give Thine own sweet rest to me,
That I may speak with soothing power
A word in season, as from Thee,
To weary ones in needful hour.

Frances Ridley Havergal (December 14, 1836June 3, 1879) was an English religious poet and hymn writer. Thy Life for Me is one of her best known hymns. She also wrote hymn melodies, religious tracts, and works for children.


  • Oh to be my verse an answering gleam from higher radiance caught
    • Prelude to The Ministry of Song, James Nisbet & Co, 1879
  • ....We write our lives indeed, But in a cipher none can read, Except the author
    • Autobiography (poem by Frances Havergal)

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).

  • What He tells thee in the darkness,
    Weary watcher for the day,
    Grateful lip and heart should utter
    When the shadows flee away.
    • P. 10.
  • Teach us, Master, how to give
    All we have and are to Thee;
    Grant us, Saviour, while we live,
    Wholly, only Thine to be.
    • P. 159.
  • Doubt indulged soon becomes doubt realized.
    • P. 195.
  • If washed in Jesus' blood,
    Then bear His likeness too,
    And as you onward press
    Ask, "What would Jesus do?"
    • P. 251.
  • Only, stay by his side
    Till the page is really known,
    It may be we failed because we tried
    To learn it all alone,
    And now that He would not let us lose
    One lesson of love
    (For He knows the loss,) — can we refuse?
    • P. 377.
  • Jesus, Master, I am Thine;
    Keep me faithful, keep me near;
    Let Thy presence in me shine
    All my homeward way to cheer.
    Jesus, at Thy feet I fall,
    Oh, be Thou my All in All.
    • P. 398.
  • Earthly joy can take but a bat-like flight, always checked, always limited, in dusk and darkness. But the love of Christ breaks through the vaulting, and leads us up into the free sky above, expanding to the very throne of Jehovah, and drawing us still upward to the infinite heights of glory.
    • P. 399.
  • It is not that I feel less weak, but Thou
    Wilt be my strength. It is not that I see
    Less sin, but more of pardoning love in Thee,
    And all-sufficient grace. Enough! And now
    All fluttering thought is stilled; I only rest,
    And feel that Thou art near, and know that I am blest.
    • P. 447.
  • I take this pain, Lord Jesus,
    From Thine own hand;
    The strength to bear it bravely
    Thou wilt command.
    I am too weak for effort,
    So let me rest,
    In hush of sweet submission
    On Thine own breast.
    • P. 513.
  • Oh, give Thine own sweet rest to me,
    That I may speak with soothing power
    A word in season, as from Thee,
    To weary ones in needful hour.
    • P. 515.
  • All the lessons He shall send
    Are the sweetest:
    And His training, in the end,
    Is completest.
    • P. 587.
  • Upon Thy word I rest.
    So strong, so sure:
    So full of comfort blest,
    So sweet, so pure —
    The word that changeth not, that faileth never!
    My King, I rest upon Thy word forever.
    • P. 599.
  • Jesus, my life is Thine,
    And ever more shall be
    Hidden in Thee,
    For nothing can untwine
    Thy life from mine.
    • P. 610.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL (1836-1879), English hymnwriter, daughter of the Rev. William Henry Havergal, was born at Astley, Worcestershire, on the 14th of December 1836. At the age of seven she began to write verse, most of it of a religious character. As a hymn-writer she was particularly successful, and the modern English Church collections include several of her compositions. Her collected Poetical Works were published in 1884. She died at Caswell Bay, Swansea, on the 3rd of June 1879.

See Memorials of Frances Ridley Havergal (1880), by her sister.

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