Frances Ridley Havergal

English religious poet and hymn writer


December 14, 1836
June 3, 1879
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Devotional calendars, Christian poetry, English, Christian poetry, Biography, Christian life,


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Frances Ridley Havergal (December 14, 1836 – June 3, 1879) was an English religious poet and hymn writer. Take My Life and Let it Be and Thy Life for Me (also known as I Gave My Life for Thee) are two 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 at age 42. 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.

Works By Frances Ridley Havergal

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Works published about Frances Ridley Havergal

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