The drowning of her betrothed, a Mr. Elscourt, a few hours before the time fixed for her marriage deeply affected an otherwise quiet life, and her hymns rather emphasize the less optimistic phases of Christian experience. In 1760 she published Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional under the name Theodosia, and her complete works (144 hymns, 34 metrical psalms and 50 moral poems) appeared in one volume in London (1863).
She was a Baptist, and her hymns are much used by members of that communion, though some of them, e.g. "Father of mercies, in Thy word," have found their way into the collections of other Churches. She has been called the Frances Ridley Havergal of the 18th century. Several of Anne Steele's hymns appear in the Sacred Harp.