Anne Steele

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Anne Steele (1717 – 11 November, 1778) was an English Baptist and hymn writer.


Steele was born at Broughton, Hampshire. It has often been written that the drowning of her betrothed, a Mr. Elscourt, a few hours before the time fixed for her marriage deeply affected an otherwise quiet life.[1] However, modern research refutes the details of this story.[2] One man did ask for the hand of Anne Steele, in 1742. This was Benjamin Beddome,[3] but she turned him down, and remained unmarried.


Steele's hymns, which were much used by Baptists, emphasize the less optimistic phases of Christian experience. In 1760 she published Poems on Subjects Chiefly Devotional under the name Theodosia. This book had a second edition (3 vols. Bristol, 1780), for which Caleb Evans wrote a preface. Her complete works were published in one volume by Daniel Sedgwick (London, 1863), as Hymns, Psalms, and Poems by Anne Steele, with a memoir by John Sheppard.[1] It comprised 144 hymns, thirty-four metrical psalms and fifty moral poems. 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.

A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship, a hymn book compiled by William Gadsby and first published in 1814, includes twenty-seven of the hymns by Anne Steele.[4] This book is used mainly by some of the Calvinistic Strict Baptist churches in England.

See also[edit]

English women hymn-writers (18th to 19th-century)


  1. ^ a b  Lee, Sidney, ed. (1898). "Steele, Anne". Dictionary of National Biography 54. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 
  2. ^ J. R. Broome (2007). A Bruised Reed - The Life and Times of Anne Steele. ISBN 978-1897837184. 
  3. ^ "Letter of proposal from Benjamin Beddome (1717-1795) to Anne Steele (1717-1778), 23 December 1742". Angus Library and Archiveaccessdate=11 January 2015. 
  4. ^ A Selection of Hymns for Public Worship, List of authors


Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

External links[edit]