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John Samuel Bewley Monsell
British hymnwriter

John Samuel Bewley Monsell

John Samuel Bewley Monsell
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro British hymnwriter
Is Writer Musician Composer Hymnwriter
From United Kingdom
Field Literature Religion Music
Gender male
Birth 2 March 1811
The details (from wikipedia)


The Rev. John Samuel Bewley Monsell (March 2, 1811 - April 9, 1875) was an Irish Anglican clergyman and poet.


He was the son of Thomas Bewley Monsell, Archdeacon of Derry, he was born in St. Columb's, Londonderry, and educated at Trinity College, Dublin, receiving a BA in 1832 (and an LL.D in 1856). He was ordained deacon in 1834, and priest in 1835. His sister was the noted botanical artist Diana Conyngham Ellis.

He married Anne, daughter of Bolton Waller, of Shannon Grove and Castletown on 15 January 1835. Their eldest son, Thomas, died on the way to the Crimean War in 1855, aged 18, in a shipwreck off Italy; their eldest daughter Elizabeth Isabella died in Torquay at the age of 28 in 1861. Another daughter, Jane Diana, married Rev. C.W. Furse in 1859.

His brother Charles, also a clergyman, married Harriet O'Brien, who refounded the Community of St John Baptist at Clewer near Windsor after her husband's death in Italy. Through Charles and Harriet, John Monsell became influenced by the Oxford Movement and an admirer of Edward Bouverie Pusey, and also became acquainted with William Ewart Gladstone, with whom he maintained a correspondence.

He was responsible for the building or rebuilding of three of his churches: Ramoan, at Ballycastle, County Antrim, St Jude, Englefield Green, during his incumbency at Egham, and St. Nicolas' Church, Guildford.

While inspecting the rebuilding of the latter, Monsell fell from a boulder, and subsequently died in 1875 from an infected wound.


  • Curacy of Templemore (Diocese of Derry) 1834-1836
  • Chaplain of Chapel of Ease (St. Augustine’s) 1836-1838
  • Chaplain of Magdalene College, Belfast 1843-1846
  • Rector of Dunaghy 1846-1847
  • Rector of Ramoan (Diocese of Connor) 1847-1853
  • Chancellor of Connor 1847-1853
  • Vicar of Egham, near Windsor 1853-1870
  • Rector of St. Nicolas' Church, Guildford and Chaplain to Queen Victoria 1870-1875.

Published writings

Monsell was a prolific hymnist. He published eleven volumes of poems and about 300 hymns.

His books include: Hymns and Miscellaneous Poems (1837), Parish Musings, of Devotional Poems (1850), Spiritual Songs for the Sundays and Holy Days Throughout the Year (1859), Hymns of Love and Praise for the Christian Year (1863), Our New Vicar (1867), Litany Hymns (1870).

His hymns include:

  • Fight the good fight with all thy might
  • Mighty Father! Blessed Son
  • On our way rejoicing as we homeward move
  • Sing to the Lord a joyful song
  • Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness

External References

  •  O'Donoghue, David James (1894). "Monsell, John Samuel Bewley". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 38. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  • Boyd, Hugh Alexander (1930). A History of the Church of Ireland in Ramoan Parish. Belfast: R. Carswell and Son. pp. 45–70. 
  • Julian, John (June 1907). A Dictionary of Hymnology. London: John Murray. pp. 762–763. 
  • Bailey, Albert Edward (1950). The Gospel in Hymns. New York: Charles Scribner's sons. pp. 365–367. 
  • Christian Classics Ethereal Library, Calvin College. "New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge". Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1953. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 
  • St. Augustine's Church website. "Chaplains of the Chapel of Ease 1783 -1870". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-02-06. 

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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