Elizabeth Clephane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Elizabeth C. Clephane)
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The grave of Elizabeth Clephane, St Cuthberts churchyard, Edinburgh

Elizabeth Cecelia Douglas Clephane (18 June 1830 – 19 February 1869) was a Scottish songwriter, who wrote the hymns "The Ninety and Nine" and "Beneath the Cross of Jesus".


She was born at 5 West Circus Place[1] in Edinburgh, Scotland, the third daughter of Andrew Clephane FRSE (1780-1838), advocate and Sheriff of Fife, and his wife, Anna Maria Douglas (daughter of Lt Col Robert Douglas and Anna Maria Ashenhurst).

Her hymns were promoted in America by Ira Sankey who wrote a tune entitled "Clephane" to accompany the Ninety and Nine. However the hymn is more usually paired with the tune "St Christopher" by Frederick Maker.[2]

Folklore claims that Elizabeth wrote "The Ninety and Nine" for her brother, George Clephane (1819-1851), who had "returned to the flock" only a short time before his death. As the story goes, he fell from his horse and struck his head upon a rock and was killed instantly. His grave site at Fergus, Ontario, Canada has become a pilgrimage of sorts for those who admired Clephane's hymns. Other siblings were Anna Maria Clephane (c. 1823-1895) and Anna Jane Douglas Clephane (c. 1825-1910).[3]

She died at Bridgend House, near Melrose, Roxburghshire, Scotland where she had spent most of her later life.[4] Elizabeth is buried in the grave of her parents in St Cuthbert's churchyard in central Edinburgh. The grave lies against the southern wall of the central section.


  • Bailey, Albert Edward (1950). The Gospel in Hymns. New York: Charles Scribners’s Sons. pp. 456–457.
  • Julian, John (1907). Dictionary of Hymnology (2nd ed.). London: J. Murray. pp. 238, 1162.
  • Stulken, Marilyn Kay (1981). Hymnal Companion to the Lutheran Book of Worship. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Fortress Press. p. 206.

External links[edit]