Henry Francis Lyte was an Anglican divine, hymn-writer and poet born at Ednam, near Kelso in June 1, 1793, and educated at Portora (the Royal School of Enniskillen), and at Trinity College, Dublin, of which he was a Scholar, and where he graduated in 1814. He was the son of Captain Thomas Lyte. During his University course he distinguished himself by gaining the English prize poem on three occasions. At one time he had intended studying Medicine; but this he abandoned for Theology, and took Holy Orders in 1815, his first curacy being in the neighbourhood of Wexford. In 1817, he removed to Marazion, in Cornwall. There, in 1818, he underwent a great spiritual change, which shaped and influenced the whole of his after life, the immediate cause being the illness and death of a brother clergyman. Lyte says of him:—
“He died happy under the belief that though he had deeply erred, there was One whose death and sufferings would atone for his delinquencies, and be accepted for all that he had incurred;”
and concerning himself he adds:—
“I was greatly affected by the whole matter, and brought to look at life and its issue with a different eye than before; and I began to study my Bible, and preach in another manner than I had previously done.”
From Marazion he removed, in 1819, to Lymington, where he composed his Tales on the Lord’s Prayer in verse (pub. in 1826); and in 1823 he was appointed Perpetual Curate of Lower Brixham, Devon. That appointment he held until his death, on Nov. 20, 1847. His Poems of Henry Vaughan, with a Memoir, were published in 1846.