Biography Henry Francis Lyte

Henry Francis Lyte

photo of Henry Francis Lyte
  • Time Period1793 - 1847
  • Place
  • CountryScotland

Poet Biography

Henry Francis Lyte was born in Scotland in 1st June 1793. His family settled at Dunmore, Co. Galway, Ireland and later at Ballyshannon. He became an elected scholar and studied medicine but then decided to turn to the Church He was ordained as a deacon in 1814 and as a priest in 1815. In 1816 he left Ireland for convalesence on the continent, later settling in the south of England. He there married Anne Maxwell, a Monaghan clergyman and kinswoman of the Maxwell-Barry famly of Newtownbarry. He therefore received a legacy enabling him to settle his debts and live in comfort thereafter. He held parish at All Saints’, Brixham from 1824-47 where he wrote Praise my Soul, the King of Heaven, God of Mercy, God of Grace, and Pleasant are Thy Courts Alone.

Henry Lyte spent winters in Naples, the Tyrol, and Switzerland, away from his family and his parish, for reasons of health. It was there he wrote the celebrated hymn Abide with Me (written in his last illness). Henry Francis Lyte is a descendent of Henry Lyte the botanist, and his hymns appear in most hymnals. He died in France on 20th November 1847.