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Henry Francis Lyte was born 6/1/1793, on a farm (near Kelso) Scotland.  He was 1 of 3 sons of Thomas & Anna Maria Lyte. Following the sad events of Thomas deserting the family & Anna’s death, Henry was “adopted” by Dr. Robert Burrowes, headmaster of his school, Portora Royal. He graduated from Trinity College, 1814 (Dublin) & was ordained in ’15. Like the proverbial “cart before the horse” he had an evangelical conversion in ’16, became a student of the Bible, & changed to “preach in another manner.”

The major events of ‘14, ‘15, ‘16 were followed in ‘17 by Henry meeting & marrying Anne Maxwell (7 years his senior), the daughter of a well-known Scottish-Irish family & herself a Methodist. Reportedly she was not has pretty as he was handsome but they had a happy home. She contributed some/all of her inherited wealth & managed the house well. Henry & Anne were blessed with 2 two daughters & 3 sons. Lyte publicly opposed “Catholic Emancipation” (a misnomer) & he also opposed slavery.

After short terms the Lytes settled at Lower Brixham, Devonshire where he spent 23 yrs. Although he spoke Latin, Greek, & French, had a sizable library, was an able flutist, discussed literature & knew his wild flowers, he was able to identify with the fishermen on shore or afloat, saw to it that each boat had a Bible & helped in the education of the village for both adults & youth. At a young age he suffered from respiratory diseases & visited the continental attempting to check them – died at Nice, France, 11/20/1847. His famous “Abide with Me” – has rung out daily (for more than a century) from the bells of his church at All Saints in Lower Brixham. The hymn was sung at the wedding of King George VI, & at the wedding of his daughter, future Queen Elizabeth II.  He also wrote, “Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken.”

“Abide with me! Fast falls the eventide;   The darkness thickens. Lord with me abide.

When other helpers fail, and comforts flee,   Help of the helpless, O abide with me!”

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